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    Volcano House lodging, dining, and other amenities remain open through the COVID-19 scare. Volcano House photo
    RESTAURANTS, BARS, AND PLACES OF WORSHIP ARE ALLOWED OPEN in Hawaiʻi County. Hawaiʻi Civil Defense sent out a message Tuesday night "to clarify your Hawaiʻi County Government's status. The County of Hawaiʻi will maintain all of its services and operations as normal. All County employees are to report to work as scheduled.
         "The State's press release on closures for restaurants, bars, and places of worship acted as a guide for all Counties. Within this county the restaurants, bars, and places of worship may make their own decision as to open or close. If restaurants, bars, and places of worship decide to remain open, do address how you will minimize the risk to your customers. This is of assurance of the cleanliness of the facility and of social distancing. If places decide to remain open the County, with its Open Task Force, will be glad to assist any entity with ideas and ways to remain open and keep the community safe. So if you do need help, please call Civil Defense at 935-0031.
         "Again, all services and operations of the County Government of Hawaiʻi will remain open and all employees are to report to work as scheduled."
         Volcano House in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park remains open, including The Rim dining room and Uncle George's Lounge.
    Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge and bowling alley are closed.
    The Café and Grill are open for take-out, and the
    recreation room is still open. KMC photo
         Kīlauea Military Camp has closed the Lava Lounge, including cancelling all live music events, and the bowling alley. The Café and the Grill are now take-out only. The recreation area, including movies, the laundry, the sundries shop, and all other amenities remain open.
         Businesses also took extra precautions to stay open. At Bank of Hawaiʻi in Pāhala, one employee stood at the door to allow a maximum of five people in the bank at one time. Counters were cleaned between customers. The line to the teller was redesigned to keep more distance between people. The teller wore plastic gloves for typing and handling money.
         A letter from Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute to Gov. David Ige, signed by 94 Hawaiʻi public health and medical professionals, states they are "alarmed" by the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our Governor must take more decisive action, and he must do so immediately. Yesterday's actions were a start, but they are not enough." The group suggests "extreme" social distancing measures, such as closing all non-essential work and businesses unless teleworking; limiting restaurants, bars, and coffee shops to food take-out or delivery only; closing childcare except for emergency/essential personnel; canceling all travel, events, and parties; and asking everyone to stay home. They also advocate for financial help for all affected by the virus. Read the full letter here.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    ALAN WONG, who has proudly served Kaʻū Coffee in his Honolulu restaurant for many years, is offering the last cup this evening before temporarily closing during the COVID-19 season. Wong, who has visited Kaʻū many times and declared Kaʻū Coffee so good that it should only be served by French Press, features coffee from local farms on his current menu:
         The Rising Sun Kaʻū Coffee from Will & Grace Farms, above Pāhala, is noted for winning Specialty Coffee Association of America's Coffee of the Year for Hawaiʻi and the U.S.
    Alan Wong visiting Lorie Obra and Kaʻū
    Coffee country in its early years of production.
     Wong discovered his passion to share
     Kaʻū Coffee in his restaurants.
         Tree M Coffee Company, of Pāhala, is described as featuring "Enlightened Habits, lightly flavored fruity tones packed with caffeine. Centered Habit, this medium roast has a light nutty flavor. Dark Habits, low acidity and bold revitalizing flavor. Nutty undertones with an earthy smooth finish." 
         Rusty's Hawaiian is noted for Lorie Obra winning the Outstanding Producer Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe, and Coffee of the Year from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Wong's menu describes it as "Very clean and refreshing."
         A message today from The Alan Wong's Restaurant ʻOhana says, "As many of you are aware, the Hawaiʻi State Government has asked all restaurants to cease dining room operations. The safety and wellbeing of our team and our guests has always been our first priority. In accordance with Governor Ige's request, Alan Wong's Honolulu will be temporarily closing beginning Thursday, March 19. We will be open for one more evening, and tonight will be our last night of service.
         "This has been an unpredictable time, and we are grateful for everyone understanding as we all navigate this together... We hope we will be able to see you again soon. Please stay tuned to our e-blast and social media, as we will let you know when we are able to resume service. Thank you for your kindness and support. We are fortunate to be part of a community that cares." See alanwongs.com.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    HAWAIICOVID19.COM is a new website of the state Department of Health. It went public this afternoon and is designed to provide the public with the latest information on the virus. It offers its recommendations on "how to prevent and mitigate community spread, common symptoms of COVID-19, and frequently asked questions."
         According to the website, DOH "is fully endorsing Gov. David Ige's directives to close establishments that typically attract large numbers of people, and to limit employees in the workplace to minimize exposure. While these are not mandates with consequences for non-compliance, these directives require the cooperation of businesses, organizations, and individuals to be effective from a public health perspective."
         Hawaiʻi state Director of Bruce Anderson said, "We can be more effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 if everyone takes these aggressive actions seriously. The response to the Governor's directives has been positive so far and there are many, such as food establishments, which have identified alternative ways to serve the public with drive-through and take-out service to maintain their operations."
         State Senate President Ron Kochi said, "Our communities on islands other than O‘ahu: Kauaʻi County, Maui County, and Hawai‘i County, are essentially rural in nature and their medical resources are severely limited. To preserve these limited medical resources for rural community residents and to flatten the curve of the effects of COVID-19, I strongly support Governor David Ige's March 17, 2020 statement that all non-Hawai‘i residents should practice social distancing by staying in their own communities and not come to Hawai‘i at this time."
         The website offers its own primer on "Social Distancing: A New Way of Expressing Aloha."
         It states that "In Hawai‘i's close-knit communities, federal, state, and county mandates for social distancing can be a difficult message to accept. Island residents are accustomed to gathering together for social and public events, and expressing their support and aloha for each other with hugs and other signs of affection.
         "COVID-19 recommendations are changing the rules on how much physical distance individuals should keep from each other, but the aloha spirit prevails in the islands. Social distancing is a new way of expressing aloha. Canceling events that do not allow attendees to be at least six feet apart - the equivalent of two arms length - and avoiding unnecessary physical meeting with others are proven strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, the effectiveness of these initiatives largely depends on the cooperation and compliance from the public."
         The health director said, "It may feel counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to show aloha for each other at this critical time is to refrain from being in large gatherings and to keep a safe, healthy distance from each other. These unprecedented times require a new way of thinking. You may be healthy, but others around you may not be as fortunate. By practicing social distancing, you're limiting the potential for exposure to any illness in your household and protecting everyone in our community. We all need to consider the health and wellbeing of others, especially seniors, those with preexisting health conditions, and others whose health may be compromised."
         Anderson suggested using "tools available for virtual meetings by phone, tablet ,or computer as a way to maintain contact with loved ones, especially kūpuna in care homes, given Gov. Ige's directive to refrain from visiting nursing homes, retirement, or long-term care facilities at this time."

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO FINISH THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION for the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi are under consideration, according to its interim Party Chair Kate Stanley. She wrote today: "As we continue counting down to April 4th, our community—and the country as a whole—is faced with the unprecedented challenge of responding to COVID-19. In this climate of uncertainty, we wanted to share an update with you about our need to develop contingency plans. Ensuring the safety of our engaged volunteers and our membership is our number one priority.
         "In light of the Department of Education school closures, we are working with the Democratic National Committee, our election vendor, and our Party leadership to develop an alternative plan to carry out the remainder of the Party-run Presidential Primary. Every decision made by the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi will consider the health, safety, and well-being of all those involved.
         "Our thoughts are with the families and communities struggling through this illness and with those grieving the loss of loved ones. Our gratitude is with those who are working around the clock to contain this virus. Stay safe, take care of one another, and stay tuned for future updates regarding our plans by visiting our website at hawaiidemocrats.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/hawaiidems.
    Mālama pono."

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    THE FEDERAL TAX DEADLINE IS EXTENDED for 90 days. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the IRS will postpone the April 15 tax deadline to Tuesday, July 14 for individuals who owe $1 million or less and corporations that owe $10 million or less.
         Anyone expecting a refund must still meet the April 15 deadline. Anyone requesting a six-month extension must also meet the April 15 deadline, but can defer payment for up to 90 days beyond that.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE SET TO REOPEN TUESDAY, APRIL 7. Hawaiʻi State Department of Education will hold a press conference with more details tomorrow, Thursday, March 19 at  DOE employees will be working remotely, states the department. Those who need to perform duties at a campus or office during this period will be limited to those tasks, before returning to their telework arrangement.


    Roberto Martinez Cebreros
    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    ASSISTANCE FROM THE PUBLIC is requested by Hawaiʻi Island Police in locating 53-year-old Roberto Martinez Cebreros of Ocean View. He is wanted for questioning relative to a sexual assault investigation. He is described as being 5-feet-6-inches, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Contact Detective Sharlotte T. Bird at (808) 326-4646 ext. 278 or Sharlotte.Bird@hawaiicounty.govwith information as to his whereabouts.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    BOTH VOLCANO ART CENTER LOCATIONS ARE CLOSED and all classes, workshops, and programs are cancelled. The Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and the Niʻaulani Campus are slated to reopen Monday March 30. See volcanoartcenter.org.

    Cultural events, like hula on the kahua hula (dance platform) at Volcano Art Center, are cancelled through March 30.
    VAC photo

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    OCEANVIEWCOMMUNITY CENTER is closed, without an estimated reopen date. All activities and services are cancelled. Suzanne C. Reiter, President of OVCA, said, "We will update folks when we have more information."


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect through Thursday afternoon for Kaʻū due to a continuing Kona low, west of the state. All islands are affected. The low will continue to produce bands of heavy rain and thunderstorms. All islands could experience flooding rainfall, especially leeward locations and lower elevations, like Kāwā. Kāwā flooded last night and closed Highway 11 between the 58 and 62 mile markers from just before through the early hours today.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 24, , host Kamehameha

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Friday, April 10, , @Ehunui

    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Konawaena

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 21, , @Konawaena

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 as COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    FRIDAY, MARCH 20
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 20 and 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    SATURDAY, MARCH 21
    Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Kaʻū Clean-Up, Saturday, March 21. Volunteer spaces are limited; RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

    CANCELLED: Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Mamālahoa Hwy, Kamaʻoa Road, and Pinao Street, just above the Wong Yuen Store in Waiʻōhinu. Church members will sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and smoked meat bowls, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts. Other vendors will offer more items. For more information, call 928-8039.

    CANCELLED: Sign Up for and Attend Second Annual Kaʻū Children's Business Fair, Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to noon at Pāhala Community Center. Young entrepreneurs ages seven and 18 share their talents by selling handmade items and services. Learn more about participating at childrensbusinessfair.org/pahala. Visit Kaʻū Children's Business Fair's Facebook event page facebook.com/KAUCBF/. RSVP to the event at facebook.com/events/925342784527676/. Text KAUKIDSFAIR to 31996 for updates and information (message and data fees may apply).

    RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 20: Writing for Inner Exploration and Life Reflection Workshop with Tom Peek, Saturday, March 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 16: Improv Comedy Show, Saturday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. Headlined by Keli Semelsberger and Matt Kaye. A Big Island Comedy Theater showcase. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 23
    OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Mondays, March 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24
    CANCELLED: Registration for Charades, open Monday-Friday, March 23-27, for program at Kahuku Park in HOVE on Tuesday, March 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. Teresa Anderson, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 929-9113

    CANCELLED: Paper Straw Tulip Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 24. Program Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

    CANCELLED: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook, Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Captain James Cook once wrote that he intended to go not only "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go." Join local guide and historian Rob Kitsell as he looks closer at the man who was Captain James Cook, and the fateful third voyage when Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, February 14, 1779. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
    OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Pū‘ohe Demonstration, Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. The pū‘ohe is a Hawaiian bamboo trumpet with a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Like other native instruments, it takes the spirit breath to produce the proper sound. Join rangers and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association staff as they share their knowledge and help you make your own pū‘ohe. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes'‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. nps.gov/havo

    CANCELLED: Gone Country Band Live Country Music, Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Line dancers will accompany the performance. $5 cover charge. KMC open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com, 967-8365

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840

    Prince Kuhio Hoʻolauleʻa will be held Saturday, March 28 from  to  at Nāʻālehu County Park. Reborn after a 20-year hiatus through the efforts of local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū, the event will feature Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. The drug- and alcohol-free event will offer entertainment with live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee, and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day.

         Hawaiian culture demos and activities, showcasing cultural knowledge of Kaʻū people and those tied to the area, include lauhala weaving, ti leaf lei making, waʻa kaulua (double-hull canoe) tours, kākau (tattoo) artistry, ʻohe kāpala (bamboo stamps), traditional Hawaiian games, and more.

         Travel through time by walking through a photo exhibit showcasing the history of Kaʻū, set-up within the Nāʻālehu Community Center. Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū representatives said they intend this to be like a visit to a mini version of their proposed Kaʻū Hawaiian Cultural Center, which has been their goal for the last 20 years. Visit Hana Laulima's booth at the hoʻolauleʻa to learn more about the revival of the Cultural Center project and membership.

         Choose from a variety of ono food including shave ice, korean chicken, roast pork plates, chili bowls, Kaʻū coffee, Big Island Candies Crunch Bars, and more. Local entrepreneurs will have pop-up shops displaying wares such as Hawaiian arts and crafts, jewelry, shirts, and hats.

         Learn more about Junior Rangers, and natural resource management, with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park rangers; ways to help free the coast of marine debris with Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund; staying healthy with state Dept. of Health; native Hawaiian healthcare with Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi; ʻōpeʻapeʻa monitoring with Friends of the Kaʻū Bats; and more.

         The organization's new logo, symbolizing its rejuvenation, was created by Kaʻū High graduate and local artist Kaweni Ibarra, who is also a Hana Laulima board member. Newly elected board members also include Lisa Derasin, Kupuna Jessie Ke, president Terry-Lee Shibuya, vice-president Elizabeth Naholowaʻa Murph, secretary Nālani Parlin, and treasurer Kehaulani Ke. Membership is $10 per year. For more information about the hoʻolauleʻa, contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.
         Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū promises that the Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa will continue as an annual event.

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Sign Up to Vend at the New ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Nāʻālehu Farmers Market, Mondays and Wednesdays,  at the site of the old Fruit Stand, mauka of Hwy 11 in Nāʻālehu. Vending focuses on Kaʻū products, including mushrooms from the new farm in Nāʻālehu, fresh breads, vegetables, fruits, and other products. The market may offer music in the future, and there are plans to acquire picnic tables for market goers. Call Manager Sue Barnett at 345-9374 to sign up.

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is off the presidential campaign trail after endorsing Joe Biden for U.S. President on
     Wednesday.She said she will connect with constituents as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for rural Hawaiʻi. She met with Kaʻū Coffee farmers (above) at Kaʻū Coffee Mill in 2016. See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
    MEALS FOR STUDENTS, FROM KAʻŪ to Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi, will continue across the state, despite closing schools until at least April 6, Gov. David Ige announced today. "I commend and fully support the Hawaiʻi Department of Education for furthering the state's efforts to implement social distancing. These are challenging decisions being made every day across the state but are essential to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
         "Educating Hawaiʻi's students remain our top priority. And we know that in addition to providing a positive learning environment, schools also provide a safe place for our keiki. As decisions for extension and closures are being announced, I'm very pleased that the Department of Education has a plan in place to continue providing meals to our students, especially to those who need it most. The comprehensive plan will help communities from Kaʻū to Kapaʻa. I encourage parents to check the DOE website for details on the meals programs."
         The governor emphasized that "The situation is constantly changing, and the DOE will be adjusting its plans to meet the changing conditions and address issues, such as opportunities for distance learning, special needs students, and graduation. I want to thank the Board, DOE, parents, students, and the community for their understanding as we work though this difficult time. We will get through this crisis if we continue to work together as a community."


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.
    Mehe's Kaʻū Bar & Grill in Ocean View is open daily for lunch, dinner, and the bar, with karaoke
    suspended. Photo from Yelp
    SIT DOWN DINING IN KAʻŪ AND VOLCANO remains at some locations, while many establishments have moved to take-out service, during these times of concern that the novel coronavirus could spread here. The number of confirmed cases on this island totals one.
         In Nāʻālehu, South Side Shaka Restaurant & Bar is open for sit-down,  daily. Hana Hou Restaurant is open for sit-down from  to  daily. Punaluʻu Bake Shop is open  daily, offering window service with dining in the gardens. Aloha Mix Food Truck Café is open  daily, except Saturday and Monday,
    Thai Thai Bar & Bistro is allowing ten table sittings at a time and
    offering take out. Photo from Thai Thai
         In Ocean View, Mehe's Kaʻū Bar & Grill is open daily,  for lunch and  for dinner. Bar is open , but karaoke is suspended. A message on the restaurant's Facebook says, "We need to protect our guests and our community, whom we care so much about. As for now, we are still operating the restaurant, being very vigilant about sanitizing and social distancing. We appreciate your understanding and will keep you informed of any changes. Mahalo for your support during these difficult times."
         L&L Drive Inn at Ocean View has closed indoor dining and offers take-out,  daily. Ka Lae Garden has moved to take-out only, 11 a.m to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. DJ's Pizza & Bake Shop is open for take out 10:30 a.m to 6:60 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.
    Farmers Market at Cooper Center will remain open
    this Sunday from 6 .m. to 10 a.m. Photo by Julia Neal
         In Volcano, Thai Thai Bar & Bistro is open for take-out and ten sit-down diners at a time,  daily. The Rim restaurant at Volcano House is open daily for sit-down, with breakfast from  to , lunch from 11 a.m. to , and dinner from  to  Uncle George's Lounge at Volcano House is open for sit-down, 
         At Kīlauea Military Camp, Lava Lounge is closed and Crater Rim Café and the 10-Pin Grill are open for take-out only.
         In Volcano Village, Kīlauea Lodge, Café Ono, Lava Rock Café, ʻŌhelo Café, Big O's Pizza, and Big O's Sandwiches and Coffee are all take-out only. Thai Grindz, Aunty Pon's, and Tuk Tuk Thai food trucks are open, but without their outdoor seating.
         The Sunday morning farmers market at Cooper Center remains open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with fresh produce, prepared foods, live plants, and crafts. Organizers said they plan to reassess every week. This week's change will be that there are no tables set up at which to socialize. "We want people to come to market, support our vendors, buy what you need/want, and go home. We are doing what we can so we can stay open. Vendors will be spaced out to address health concerns. Parking may be limited. Please help support our local farmers and vendors."

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    O Kaʻū Kākou is closing its Nāʻālehu Market until the COVID-19 season has passed.
    Market days are Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Photo from OKK
    TODAY, OKK DECIDED TO SUSPEND ITS NĀʻĀLEHU MARKET through March, as the number of COVID-19 cases grow across the state. Manager Sue Barnett noted that the market location in Nāʻālehu is blessed with a large place that allows vendors to be distanced from one another and for people to avoid crowding at any one booth. She said that continuing in April depends on whether COVID-19 begins to circulate in the Hawaiʻi Island community, and that dozens of Hawaiʻi Island tests results are expected to be announced by the state Department of Health soon.
         Should the market reopen, sponsoring organization O Kaʻū Kākou is prepared to set up disinfectant stations, post signs on social distancing, and provide an attendant to prevent crowds of people from gathering together, said Barnett. Barnett also noted that some 2,000 people a day are arriving to Hawaiʻi Island by plane. Many of the visitors are attracted to farmers markets and careful management of social distancing would have to be in place to keep the market going.
         The regular schedule of the OKK Nāʻālehu Market is Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the site of future senior citizen housing, mauka of Hwy 11. Barnett said the public will be notified when the market reopens.

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    KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL'S STORE SHUT ITS DOORS AT THE END OF TODAY to weather out the concern that the novel coronavirus could spread among visitors, staff and community. Manager Lou Daniele said it was a very hard decision and that staff will be on reduced hours to spend time on other work at the mill, which grows, harvests, and processes Kaʻū Coffee, selling retail and wholesale to buyers around the world. Processing services for other farmers will still be available, Daniele said.

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    Grass Roots Institute of Hawaiʻi displayed this image of an economy in decline today as it raised an alarm of increasing
    government control over daily life. Image from Grass Roots Institute of Hawaiʻi
    CORONAVIRUS IS MORE THAN A THREAT TO HEALTH is the headline for the Grass Root Institute of Hawaiʻi's Weekly Report, released today. It says: "The coronavirus has been causing alarm around the world, but possibly worse than the virus itself are the reactions we are seeing from our governments. Not only must we worry about contracting the coronavirus, we also face losing many of our economic freedoms, civil liberties, and the ideal of limited, accountable government."
         Joe Kent, Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi's executive vice president, cautioned in last Sunday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser that, "With the coronavirus causing havoc for both the U.S. stock market and Hawaiʻi's tourism industry, now is not the time for state lawmakers to be increasing spending, taxes, or regulations." Institute President Keliʻi Akina delivered a similar message a few days earlier in his weekly President's Corner column, saying the "coronavirus recession" was "a wake-up call to the Legislature: It's time to discard its big-spending plans and focus on ways to help the economy recover quickly."
         Grass Roots Institute points out that "Since those columns were written, Hawaiʻi House and Senate leaders suspended this year's legislative session — arguably a very good idea in any year — but then Gov. David Ige coupled that with suspension of the state's open-records law. Ige also ordered residents to 'heed any orders and guidance of federal and state public health officials, including but not limited to, the imposition of social distancing measures;' declared 'price gouging' illegal; and
    ordered that measures be identified that could prevent hoarding."
         On Oʻahu, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell ordered all Oʻahu restaurants, bars and nightclubs to close indoor and outdoor dining services for at least 15 days starting Friday night.
         On Kauaʻi, Mayor Derek Kawakami implemented a 9 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew starting Friday and lasting for an indefinite time, during which residents will not be allowed to leave their homes.
         Grass Roots Institute asks whether these steps can be called "martial law."
         The opinion piece says that "One bright spot was the governor authorizing licensed out-of-state physicians, osteopathic physicians, physician assistants, practical nurses, registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and advance practice registered nurses with prescriptive authority to now practice in the state without a Hawaiʻi license — but that is something that should have been allowed anyway."

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    House Speaker Scott Saiki wants people
    to shelter in place for 15 days
    across the state.
    AN IMMEDIATE STATEWIDE SHUT DOWN FOR THE NEXT 15 DAYS is the goal of the state Speaker of the House Scott Saiki. He wrote to Gov. David Ige today, saying, "The handling of this COVID-19 pandemic has been utterly chaotic and there is mass confusion among the public. The number of positive test results is exponentially increasing on a daily basis. To protect people and the long-term stability of our economy, I implore you to immediately order the shut-down and sheltering-in place of all people in the Sate of Hawaiʻi." He also asked for a quarantine on all travelers arriving from outside Hawaiʻi for 15 days, a prohibition on all non-essential inter-island and out-of-state travel, and closure of all public and private schools, daycare centers, and preschools.
         Saiki asked the governor to direct Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency and its Director, Adjutant general Kenneth Hara, to ensure that the supply chain for basic necessities - food, medicine, water, communications, gasoline, cargo, and public safety - is secure. Saiki asked Ige to order Hara to secure and requisition hospital and medical supplies to assist with "the coming need to treat individuals to COVID-19, and work in full cooperation and coordination with the United States Indo-Pacific Command and all of our military partners."
           The House Speaker concluded his letter to the governors, saying, "I implore you to take immediate action for the health, safety, and welfare of all the people of Hawaiʻi."

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    "NO CONTACT WITH ANYBODY, IF AT ALL POSSIBLE UNTIL APRIL 30" is the recommendation of Lt. Gov Josh Green during an interview on KHON News today. He urged as much social distancing as possible for the next six weeks to reduce the risk of novel coronavirus spreading in Hawaiʻi. Green said he agrees with Gov. Ige in recommending a halt to non-essential travel to Hawaiʻi until April 30. He said anyone returning to Hawaiʻi or coming home should be quarantined for two weeks. "In addition to these actions, everyone needs to stay home with exceptions of getting food/groceries and medical care," said Green on his Facebook. Green is a physician and former resident of Kaʻū.

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    The State Senate Chambers are closed, after it was revealed today
     that Sen. Claence Nishihara is a victim of COVID-19.
    THE HAWAIʻI STATE CAPITOL CLOSED TODAY after it was revealed that state Sen. Clarence Nishihara tested positive for COVID-19. House Speaker Scott Saiki directed everyone at the Hawaiʻi Capitol to leave until provided with clear clearance. He said the Capitol will be closed at least until April 5.


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    AN EMERGENCY MEETING ON COVID-19 has been called by Hawaiʻi County Council this afternoon for tomorrow, March 20. The meeting will involve request to the state Department of Health regarding COVID-19 testing, and discussion with the county Corporation Counsel regarding the Council's authority under emergency declarations and proclamations. Public testimony will be disallowed in person but accepted until on Friday. In a statement the Council "encourages the public to submit thoughts, comments, and input via written testimony."
         Written testimony must be submitted by 10 a.m. on March 20 by email to counciltestimony@hawaiicounty.gov; facsimile to (808) 961-8912; or U.S. mail to the County Clerk' s Office in Hilo at 25 Aupuni St., Hilo, HI, 96720. All written testimony, regardless of time of receipt, will be made a part of the public record. The Council asks the public to submit separate testimony for each item.


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    Kaʻū's Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard ended her presidential campaign yesterday. Photo from Tulsi 2020
    TULSI GABBARD ENDED HER CAMPAIGN, ENDORSING JOE BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT on Wednesday. Here is her announcement: "Our nation is facing an unprecedented global crisis that highlights the inextricable bonds of humanity, and how foreign policy and domestic policy are inseparable. We are all in this together and we must all rise to meet this moment — in service to our country and our fellow man. This is not the first time we have faced adversity together. And it will not be the last.
         "After the terrorist attack by al-Qaeda on our country on 9/11, we stood together as Americans, motivated to serve, marshaling our forces to defeat our common enemy. I and so many others enlisted in the military to do just that. Likewise today, as Americans and all of humanity, we face a common enemy. It is once again time, as Americans and as neighbors in this global community, that we stand together, and work hand in hand to defeat this new enemy — the coronavirus.
         "Throughout my life, and this campaign, my motivation has been to serve God, our country, and the American people as best I can. I feel that the best way I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and wellbeing of the people of Hawaiʻi and our country in Congress, and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaiʻi National Guard be activated.
         "After Tuesday’s primary results, it is clear that Democratic Primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election. I know Vice President Biden and his wife and am grateful to have called his son Beau, who also served in the National Guard, a friend. Although I may not agree with the Vice President on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people. I'm confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha — respect and compassion — and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart.
         "Today, I'm suspending my presidential campaign, and offering my full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together.
    Tulsi Gabbard endorsed Joe Biden to become the Democratic nominee for President. Photo from Common Dreams
         "I will continue to advocate for a 21st century foreign policy. One based on mutual respect and cooperation instead of confrontation, where we as a community of nations can work together to overcome the challenges that our people face — preventing and stopping pandemics like the coronavirus now affecting all of us, tackling climate change, combating terrorism, and removing the existential threat of nuclear war which hangs over all our heads. I will continue to do everything I can to help bring an end to the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, and end regime change wars, which are costing us trillions of dollars, so we can invest these precious resources in the needs of the American people — health care, rebuilding our infrastructure, education, and so much more.
         "I want to extend my best wishes to my friends Senator Bernie Sanders, his wife Jane, Nina Turner, and their many supporters for the work they’ve done. I have a great appreciation for Senator Sanders' love for our country and the American people and his sincere desire to improve the lives of all Americans.
         "To the many people across our country who dedicated their time, energy, and resources to my campaign, working tirelessly to get our message out, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to speaking to you more in the coming days about why I made this decision, and how we can continue to work together for our common cause. Thank you for standing with me. I will always have your back.
         Gabbard said earlier she would not run for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives where she has served Kaʻū and all of the rural areas around the state since 2013.

    D'Andrea Pelletier will give a Facebook
    concert on Friday at Noon.
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    A FACEBOOK LIVE CONCERT will be given by D'Andrea Pelletier, "The Queen of Opera,"  tomorrow at . The soprano, who lives in Volcano, has performed several times in Kaʻū.
    See facebook.com/queenofopera.

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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:
         Department of Health reports that there are 26 positive cases of novel coronavirus throughout the state, with one case on Hawaiʻi Island. DOH and Hawaiʻi Island healthcare partners have established COVID-19 test facilities at HiloMedicalCenter, KonaCommunityHospital, and North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital. DOH reminds the public that "individuals who are NOT sick, who are NOT symptomatic, that are NOT presenting flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, or dry cough will not be considered for testing." In order to be tested, a physician or a health clinic must prescribe the test to be done, and the test taker must have a valid ID and an insurance card.  For those who do not have a healthcare doctor or insurance, evaluation will be conducted at an Emergency Room.
         According to the World Health Organization, the U.S.has 7,087 cases, including 3,551 reported today, with 100 deaths, 42 reported today. Worldwide, there are more than 209,800 cases, including 16,556 reported today, and 8,778 deaths, including 828 reported today.


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    MORE COVID-19 RELATED CANCELLATIONS:
         Upcoming fundraisers for Ocean View Community Skate Park are cancelled, but they have a new website: oceanviewskatepark.com.

         Kaʻū Food Pantry at St. Jude's will not be open on Tuesday, March 31, and will remain closed until further notice.

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    A MAGNITUDE 3.9 EARTHQUAKE this morning just before was felt by at least 80 people. The epicenter was 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) west northwest of Pāhala. No damage or injuries were reported.

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    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 24, , host Kamehameha

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Friday, April 10, , @Ehunui

    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Konawaena

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 21, , @Konawaena

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    FRIDAY, MARCH 20
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 20 and 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    SATURDAY, MARCH 21
    CANCELLED: Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Kaʻū Clean-Up, Saturday, March 21. Volunteer spaces are limited; RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

    CANCELLED: Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Mamālahoa Hwy, Kamaʻoa Road, and Pinao Street, just above the Wong Yuen Store in Waiʻōhinu. Church members will sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and smoked meat bowls, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts. Other vendors will offer more items. For more information, call 928-8039.

    CANCELLED: Sign Up for and Attend Second Annual Kaʻū Children's Business Fair, Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to noon at Pāhala Community Center. Young entrepreneurs ages seven and 18 share their talents by selling handmade items and services. Learn more about participating at childrensbusinessfair.org/pahala. Visit Kaʻū Children's Business Fair's Facebook event page facebook.com/KAUCBF/. RSVP to the event at facebook.com/events/925342784527676/. Text KAUKIDSFAIR to 31996 for updates and information (message and data fees may apply).

    RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 20: Writing for Inner Exploration and Life Reflection Workshop with Tom Peek, Saturday, March 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 16: Improv Comedy Show, Saturday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. Headlined by Keli Semelsberger and Matt Kaye. A Big Island Comedy Theater showcase. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 23
    OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Mondays, March 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24
    CANCELLED: Registration for Charades, open Monday-Friday, March 23-27, for program at Kahuku Park in HOVE on Tuesday, March 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. Teresa Anderson, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 929-9113

    CANCELLED: Paper Straw Tulip Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 24. Program Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

    CANCELLED: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook, Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Captain James Cook once wrote that he intended to go not only "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go." Join local guide and historian Rob Kitsell as he looks closer at the man who was Captain James Cook, and the fateful third voyage when Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, February 14, 1779. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
    OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Pū‘ohe Demonstration, Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. The pū‘ohe is a Hawaiian bamboo trumpet with a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Like other native instruments, it takes the spirit breath to produce the proper sound. Join rangers and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association staff as they share their knowledge and help you make your own pū‘ohe. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes'‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. nps.gov/havo

    CANCELLED: Gone Country Band Live Country Music, Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Line dancers will accompany the performance. $5 cover charge. KMC open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com, 967-8365

    THURSDAY, MARCH 26
    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

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    This group hauled more than two tons of debris off a Kaʻū beach in one weekend. Beach cleanups have been
    postponed due to the COVID-19 threat. See more below. Photo from Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund
    PUNALU`U, KAWA, HONU`APO, WHITTINGTON AND MILOLI`I BEACH PARKS close Saturday, March 21 until further notice. Mayor Harry Kim made the announcement late Friday. Camping and pavilion permits are cancelled at all county beach parks and county owned coastal lands are off limits, as the county takes another step in staving off the threat of COVID-19 spreading on this island. County coastal lands are closed to all access and uses. For more information, call the county Department of Parks & Recreation at 961-8311.


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    HEALTHY OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES REMAIN OPEN IN HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, including all previously open trails and overlooks. All entrance fees, including commercial tour fees, are temporarily suspended until further notice.
         The Kahuku Unit is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
         Most of the backcountry is open for hiking and camping. Backcountry permits are processed by phone, 808-985-6178. Retrieve the permit in person through a slot in the Backcountry Office door.
         Commercial tours in the Park are limited to ten people or less and guides must enforce social distancing procedures.
         Visit the park website for the latest information, nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes.
         Although a community talk-story event scheduled for Thursday, March 19 to discuss potential future uses of Kīlauea volcano's Great Crack area was postponed, the public is encouraged to submit comments via email to havo_planning@nps.gov, or in writing to Superintendent, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718.
    Backcountry hiking and camping are open at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. This spot is at Halape.
    Photo by Jacob W. Frank
         A statement from the Park says, "The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus  situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels."
         NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases "by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick."
    Retrieve permits for backcountry hiking in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National
    Park through the slot in the Back Country Office door, shown on the
    map above. Map from HVNP
         For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, "we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness."
         Updates about NPS operations will be posted on nps.gov/coronavirus.

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    VOLCANO HOUSE HOTEL, THE RIM RESTAURANT, AND UNCLE GEORGE'S LOUNGE are shuttered, according to the National Park Service, which owns the historic building that is leased to a concessioner. Also closed is Nāmakanipaio Campground.
         Kīlauea Military Camp and its accommodations, also located within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, remain open with reduced services for authorized patrons, including take-out food at its Crater Rim Café and retail at its store. Its Lava Lounge bar and bowling alley are closed, its luʻau cancelled. Events at Kīlauea Theatre on the grounds of KMC are postponed. Check the KMC website for details.
         Within the Park, all events and guided programs, including hikes, walks and talks, are canceled.
    Kīlauea Visitor Center and the outdoor lānai are closed, but restrooms are open. The Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association store is closed; online shopping is open. Mauna Loa Summit Cabin and Red Hill Cabin are closed. Volcano Art Center Gallery is closed.

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    POSTPONED IS THE PRINCE KUHIO DAY HOʻOLAULEʻA, scheduled for Saturday, March 28 at Nāʻālehu County Park. Terry Lee Shibuya, president of the sponsoring group Hana Laulima Lahui O Kaʻū, made the announcement today. "The Hoʻolauleʻa will be postponed due to concerns over COVID-19. Our main kuleana is to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. Mahalo to all of our partners and participants. We will keep everyone informed when we are able to set a new date. E malama pono kakou. Imua Kaʻū!"
         The event is the revival of an annual celebration last held in 2000. It is designed as a visit to a mini version of the non-profit's proposed Kaʻū Hawaiian Cultural Center, a goal for the last 20 years. Hawaiian culture demos and activities are planned, to showcase the cultural knowledge of Kaʻū people and those tied to the area. Also planned are Hawaiian music, hula, crafts, food, and more. The event is to be drug- and alcohol-free.
         For more information, contact Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.

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    HAWAIʻI WILDLIFE FUND is canceling all of its upcoming beach cleanings and other volunteers conservation activities. The community events included a Kamilo Beach Debris Survey #35 on Thursday.
         Here is the message: "Like many of you, our Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund team members have been following the global COVID-19 pandemic and keeping an eye out for CDC and Hawaiʻi Department of Health updates. While there are thankfully few confirmed cases in the state, we realize that people are contagious before they are symptomatic and for this reason and to protect our team, our volunteers, and our community, we've decided to cancel all of our scheduled in-person volunteer events for the next couple weeks through at least March 31st, 2020. Our Board and staff will re-evaluate this decision in late March and will be in touch as things develop. Please check out our website and social pages for weekly updates."
    A group of volunteers removes one of many tangle of derelict nets from the shores of Kaʻū. HWF photo
         The following Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund events on Hawaiʻi Island have been cancelled and will be rescheduled asap: Thursday, March 19 - Kamilo Debris Survey #35; Saturday, March 21 - Kaʻū Community Cleanup; March 23 through 30 - Kaʻū Net (recovery) Patrols.
         Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund also put events on standby: Monday, April 6 - HWF mentors @ Mt. View Public Library (Visit #1); Friday, April 10 - Kaʻū Net (recovery) Patrol; Saturday, April 25 - 11th annual Manukā NARS Collaborative Cleanup; and  Monday, April 27 - HWF mentors @ Mt. View Public Library (Visit #2).
         Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund's message says, "In the meantime, we suggest that this may well be a good opportunity to get outside (away from crowds!) and enjoy our natural world. Take a walk along a beach or on a hiking trail, go for a surf or swim, and pick up any trash you find along the way. Sending much love and aloha and in the words of auntie Nadine, 'Wash yo hands - no touch your face! Shaka and no handshakes.'
         "Thinking positively, here are some silver linings in this crazy time: The global decline in travel may lead to a decrease in carbon emissions (think of the #fridaysforfuture movement): youtube.com/watch?v=fLfd4UpC3Fs. Our HWF education mentors will now have time to focus creating our virtual cleanup huakaʻi (fieldtrip) video, and other electronic conservation lessons and activities: wildhawaii.org/education.html."
         For more see Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund website, Instagram, and Facebook pages.

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    Breaching whales will have to show off for themselves, as the final Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary
    Ocean Count of 2020 is cancelled for tomorrow. NOAA photo
    THE LAST OF THREE 2020 HAWAIIAN HUMPBACK WHALE COUNTS IS CANCELLED. The volunteer event, sponsored by Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, scheduled for Saturday, March 28, is called off due to coronavirus concern.
          Ocean Count promotes public awareness of humpback whales, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and shore-based whale watching opportunities. Volunteer participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whales activity from the shorelines of Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi islands.
         The counts normally take place three times during peak whale season: the last Saturdays in January, February, and March.

         Despite challenging sighting conditions, the count on Feb. 29, where volunteers collected data from 51 sites across all the main Hawaiian Islands, recorded 191 whale sightings during the time period, the most of any time period in the day's count. Volunteers were also able to educate 647 members of the public who stopped by for more information during the count. The count in January 550 volunteers collected data from 53 sites across all the main Hawaiian Islands. A total of 279 whale sightings were seen during the time period, the most of any time period throughout the day's count.

         The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, administered by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources, protects thousands of humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiian waters, where they migrate each winter to mate, calve, and nurse their young. An "abundance" of humpback cows and their calves have been spotted this season, according to the sanctuary.
    Humpback cows' newborn calves are especially vulnerable to human craft collisions. NOAA photo
         There have also been at least nine instances of vessel/whale collisions reported since December within the sanctuary and nearby waters. Ocean users are asked to use caution when navigating shared waters. Humpback whale season in Hawai‛i generally runs from November through May, although whales may be encountered in limited numbers during other months. According to the sanctuary, most of the whales reported with injuries this season are young, including calves and sub-adults.

         Boaters are reminded to post a lookout at all times when moving through the water, not just during humpback season. Humpback whales are protected in Hawaiʻi. Federal regulations prohibit approaching within 100 yards of whales when on the water, and 1,000 feet when operating an aircraft. These and other regulations apply to all ocean users, including vessel operators, kayakers, paddle boarders, windsurfers, swimmers, and divers throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
         Anyone coming across an injured or entangled marine mammal is asked to maintain the required safe and legal distance, and call the NOAA Marine Mammal Hotline at 1-888-256-9840 immediately, or the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF channel 16. If reporting a suspected approach zone violation, please call the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. Additional guidelines and safety tips can be found at hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
         The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports national marine sanctuaries by protecting species, conserving ecosystems and preserving America's maritime heritage through on-the-water conservation projects, public education, and outreach programs and scientific research and exploration.


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    FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR KŪPUNA AND CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL is planned.
    The Food Basket welcomes volunteers on Tuesdays at 10 a.m at Pāhlala Community Center for emergency food distribution, with recipients driving up to pick up.
         Kaʻū High and Pāhlala Elementary School is one of the Grab-and-Go meal school sites in the public school system, which has shut down classes into April due to the novel coronavirus situation. Co-sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture and Hawaiʻi Child Nutrition programs, the initiative will provide free food to students 18 years and younger. Parents can pick up the food when accompanied by the students.
         Breakfast will be served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Meals will be packaged and placed outside the cafeteria for pickup. The service is Monday through Friday, except for the upcoming Prince Kuho Day on Thursday, March 26.

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    THE BIG SISTER OF KAʻŪ HOSPITAL IS ASKING FOR HELP. Hilo Medical Center is ramping up for the possibility of caring for many COVD-19 patients. Hilo Hospital will announce a community donation drive for people and businesses with extra N95 and surgical masks. It is taking on emergency hires for Hilo Medical Center and Hale Hoʻala Hamakua in Honokaʻa, and plans for a two-thirds growth in capacity to care for COVID-19 patients. Volunteers can also sign up to help at Hilo Medical Center.
    Surgical masks are needed at Hawaiʻi
    Island hospitals.
         A new Screening & Testing Site at the Puna Community Medical Center in Pāhoa will open on Monday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays, with no physician lab order required. Screening will take place at the site. Testing continues at Hilo Medical Center, physician lab order required.
         Spokesperson Elena Cabatu said that an inventory of Hilo Hospital needs is underway.

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    STATE LEGISLATORS URGE MAYOR HARRY KIM TO ORDER SHELTER-IN-PLACE. Hawaiʻi Island's state Senators and members of the House of Representatives sent the mayor a letter this week entitled Request for Immediate Action in Response to the Public Health Concerns Regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):
         "To protect the residents of the County of Hawaiʻi and the long-term stability of our island economy, we implore you to immediately order the shut-down of non-essential county government operations and the sheltering-in-place of all people throughout the County of Hawai‘i.
         "As Mayor of the County of Hawai’i, we strongly urge you to take the following immediate actions through an Emergency Proclamation and Emergency Rule(s): Institute an immediate countywide shut down for the next 15 days. Order all people in the County of Hawai‘i to shelter-in-place for the next 15 days and coordinate with the Joint Incident Center under the command of the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Director/Adjutant General Kenneth Hara to immediately use his authority under the March 16, 2020, Emergency Supplementary Proclamation by Governor Ige to take all necessary steps and required means to ensure that the supply chain for basic necessities — such as food, medicine, water, communications, gasoline, cargo, and public safety throughout the County of Hawaiʻi — is secure.
         "Request Director/Adjutant General Hara to secure and requisition any needed hospital and medical supplies that are necessary to assist with the coming need to treat individuals due to COVID-19, at all available Hawaiʻi Island medical facilities. In coordination with Governor Ige, order the quarantine of all travelers arriving from outside Hawaiʻi at the Hilo and Kona International Airports for a minimum of 15 days. Prohibit all non-essential inter-island and out-of-state travel from Hawaiʻi Island.
    Hawaiʻi Islans state legislators urge Mayor Harry Kim to
    quarantine all travelers arriving from outside the state
    for 15 days, among other measures.
         "In coordination with Governor Ige, require the immediate closure of all public and private schools, daycare centers, preschools, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Hawaiʻi Community College, and Hawaiʻi Community College Pālamanui. Require the immediate closure of all County facilities and workspaces, and send home all non-essential County of Hawaiʻi personnel for the duration of the shut down.
         Limit County of Hawai‘i work to only essential personnel, provided they are equipped with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and adhere to spatial distancing guidelines and preventive measures as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Hawaiʻi Department of Health.
         The legislators, who include Kaʻū Senators Russell Ruderman and Dru Kanuha, as well as Rep. Richard Onishi and Rep. Richard Creagan, say "As Mayor, you are the only person who has the direct authority to institute these actions. As state legislators, we passed and continue to support the delegated authority provided to the counties under Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Chapter 127, which grants you, as Mayor, the power to act in emergency situations such as the unprecedented one we face today. The entire Hawaiʻi Island delegation is speaking with one collective voice, and we implore you to take immediate action for the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the County of Hawai‘i."

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    GOV. DAVID IGE YESTERDAY APPLAUDED COUNTY MAYORS'"TAILORED ACTIONS" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "I want to thank mayors Caldwell, Kawakami, Kim, and Victorino for their swift actions in implementing the directives. These are hard decisions. We all understand the dire nature of the challenges facing our state due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are moving together in our response."

         Ige said each mayor understands "the unique needs of their communities" and are putting in place restrictions and guidance that best meet those needs, and that align with CDC guidelines, the direction provided by the state Department of Health, and the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency.
         "They have my full support and commitment to continue to work cooperatively as we move forward in our efforts to fight COVID-19," said Ige. "We know these actions are extreme, but we know they will help flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for a quicker recovery. The community needs to anticipate that more stringent measures may need to be introduced but we want to ensure everyone that any direction or mandates made will be based on facts and what's best for our communities. This is a community effort. Each of us has a part to play. And I know that the best way to get through this crisis is by working together for the sake of our entire state," added Ige.

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    THE 91ST RECRUITMENT CLASS for Hawaiʻi Police Department held their Recognition Ceremony on Friday, March 13 in Hilo. Family and friends celebrated eighteen police recruits, all of whom just completed six months of intensive training. They will now undergo four months of on-the-job field training with veteran police officers before they are qualified to work alone.

         During the ceremony friends or family members pinned the new police badges on each police recruit.
    Photo from HPD
         Members of the graduating class, above, are: Class President Curry McFadden, Kyle Murray, Chelsey Santos, Noah Serrao, Dorian Travers, Bradley Waiki, Calvin Furtado, Alysa Gamache, Christopher L. Hasegawa, Rodney N. Kekaualua Jr., Blane K. Kenolio, Meredeth L. Matsushima, Robert Bright, Rebecca P. Carruthers, Chezvis Carveiro, Eli Dominic M. Cayetano, Edward Costa, and Byron Freitas Jr.


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    TŪTŪ & ME TRAVELING PRESCHOOL AND HOME VISITING PROGRAMS ARE CLOSED until at least April 6, to help prevent the COVID-19 cases on this island. The Home Visiting Program is a free service to Kaʻū families with keiki, birth to five years old, offering caregiver support, "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources." See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:

         Department of Health reports that there are 37 positive cases of novel coronavirus throughout the state, with one case on Hawaiʻi Island - a visitor. Two new presumptive cases were identified in Kona today, according to West Hawaiʻi Today, which quoted Lt. Gov. and physician Josh Green as saying both cases are travelers, not from community spread. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has 10,442 cases, including 3,355 reported today, with 150 deaths, 50 reported today. Worldwide, there are more than 234,000 cases, including 24,247 reported today, and 9,840 deaths, including 1,061 reported today.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 24, , host Kamehameha

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Friday, April 10, , @Ehunui

    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 21, , @Konawaena

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 21, , @Konawaena

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 as COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    SATURDAY, MARCH 21
    CANCELLED: Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Kaʻū Clean-Up, Saturday, March 21. Volunteer spaces are limited; RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

    CANCELLED: Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Mamālahoa Hwy, Kamaʻoa Road, and Pinao Street, just above the Wong Yuen Store in Waiʻōhinu. Church members will sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and smoked meat bowls, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts. Other vendors will offer more items. For more information, call 928-8039.

    CANCELLED: Sign Up for and Attend Second Annual Kaʻū Children's Business Fair, Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to noon at Pāhala Community Center. Young entrepreneurs ages seven and 18 share their talents by selling handmade items and services. Learn more about participating at childrensbusinessfair.org/pahala. Visit Kaʻū Children's Business Fair's Facebook event page facebook.com/KAUCBF/. RSVP to the event at facebook.com/events/925342784527676/. Text KAUKIDSFAIR to 31996 for updates and information (message and data fees may apply).

    RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 20: Writing for Inner Exploration and Life Reflection Workshop with Tom Peek, Saturday, March 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 16: Improv Comedy Show, Saturday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. Headlined by Keli Semelsberger and Matt Kaye. A Big Island Comedy Theater showcase. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 23
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Mondays, March 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24
    CANCELLED: Registration for Charades, open Monday-Friday, March 23-27, for program at Kahuku Park in HOVE on Tuesday, March 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. Teresa Anderson, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 929-9113

    CANCELLED: Paper Straw Tulip Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 24. Program Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

    CANCELLED: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook, Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Captain James Cook once wrote that he intended to go not only "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go." Join local guide and historian Rob Kitsell as he looks closer at the man who was Captain James Cook, and the fateful third voyage when Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, February 14, 1779. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Pū‘ohe Demonstration, Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. The pū‘ohe is a Hawaiian bamboo trumpet with a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Like other native instruments, it takes the spirit breath to produce the proper sound. Join rangers and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association staff as they share their knowledge and help you make your own pū‘ohe. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes'‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. nps.gov/havo

    CANCELLED: Gone Country Band Live Country Music, Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Line dancers will accompany the performance. $5 cover charge. KMC open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com, 967-8365

    THURSDAY, MARCH 26
    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

    FRIDAY, MARCH 27
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

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    Kahinaliʻi Tayamen's Saving the Monk Seal is one of several works of art by Kaʻū youth displayed at the
    Young At Art show in Hilo. See more of the art, and read about the inspiration for the pieces, below.
    Photo by Darlene Javar




















    EVERYONE COMING TO HAWAIʻI WILL BE QUARANTINED starting Thursday, March 26. Gov. David Ige made the announcement today at the state Capitol. The mandate for a 14-day quarantine is aimed at preventing the spread of novel coronavirus in the islands. Residents returning home would be asked to self-quarantine. Visitors would be quarantined in place of lodging. Neither would be allowed to leave their quarantined residence except for medical care. Fines will be $5,000 and up to a year in prison - a misdemeanor.
         Ige said, "We need to come together as a community to fight this virus. This mandate is the first of its kind in the nation. We want this action to send the message to visitors and residents alike that we appreciate their love for Hawaiʻi but we are asking them to postpone their visit."
    Lifeguard at Punaluʻu directs visitors to leave the beach today.
    Photo by Julia Neal
         The governor was accompanied by leaders in the visitor industry, government, and a labor union for hotel, restaurant, and bar employees,  Local 5 financial secretary Eric Gill , said thousands of workers are laid off and they are afraid of not being able to retain their health insurane orb pay their mortgages and vehicle loans. "We have to attend to the health aspects because people are scared. We have to attend to the economic aspects because people are worried." He said the union supports stringent actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 so workers can get back to work soon. "Let's cap this thing and get moving again," he said.
         Mufi Hannemann, President of the Hawaiʻi Lodging & Tourism Association, said that the longer Hawaiʻi delays to enact stringent actions, "the more we're going to pay in human suffering, possibly human lives" and the economic downturn.
         Ige said that the quarantine was delayed until next Thursday so those who may have scheduled trips to Hawaiʻi have the opportunity to cancel and those who are here have a chance to go home ahead of the quarantine.
         State Department of Health chief Bruce Anderson said that random testing shows there is little if any community spread of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi. "We want to keep it that way." He said that at least 48 of the 49 confirmed cases are travelers. Eighty percent of them are people from Hawaiʻi who traveled outside the islands.
         The governor said that county mayors would enforce the 14 days of quarantine.
    A mostly empty Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach, which is usually swarmed with visitors,
    who can be seen today on the point in the distance, having walked past barriers
    that say the beach park is closed.  Photo by Julia Neal
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    A MANDATORY SELF-QUARANTINE FOR ANYONE COMING TO HAWAIʻI was the call from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard earlier today "in response to the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic."
         Gabbard said, "The governor of California is predicting that they'll have 25 million cases of coronavirus in the state of California alone within the next eight weeks. That's over 60 percent of California's population. As we look at how to prevent visitors from bringing the coronavirus to Hawaiʻi, it's not enough to just encourage people not to come to Hawaiʻi. It also doesn't do much good to take people's temperatures when they get here because people can be asymptomatic and be spreading the disease."
         She noted that quarantines have been established in "countries around the world — like Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and China's capital city Beijing. Visitors will be monitored to make sure that they are adhering to the quarantine. If they are residents, then they will be in house quarantine, separate from their relatives or others who are in the home. And if they are visitors, they'll be quarantined in their hotel room. This is an absolute necessity, and it will be a tremendous help in saving lives here in Hawaiʻi."

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    Services at St. Jude's are available online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Images from stjudeshawaii.org
    ST. JUDE'S IS HOLDING ONLINE SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE TOMORROW. Go to stjudeshawaii.org/worship.html, review the page to see where the lessons and prayers are located, then click on the arrow of the first video. A Facebook account is not required to view the service. No sound? Click on the volume icon at the bottom of the video screen and it will remove the line through it, and sound will play. Turn up the volume to high. When the first video is complete, click on the second video. The bottom of the page has some musical selections.

         St. Jude's thanks Rev. Mary, Teri and Karen (our readers), and Richard who provided technical support. Cindy Cutts said, "Tomorrow's on-line service is a rough draft, first run attempt to continue our St. Jude's worship during the COVID-19 crisis. Please be kind, if you have any issues with this broadcast. Good luck! See ya in (on-line) church!"

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    KALAE COFFEE on South Point Roadis open for take-out only, from to , daily.



    LINN'S THAI FOOD TRUCK will set up on the corner of Coconut and Treefern Lane in Discovery Harbour from noon to 6 p.m. , daily, until further notice. Orders must be called in  advance to 808-937-0029.

    HANA HOU RESTAURANT in Nāʻālehu will be serving take-out only beginning Monday, March 23.

    COSTCO will hold special hours for kūpuna over 60 and the physically disabled starting Tuesday, March 24, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The pharmacy will also open at 8 a.m.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK IS CLOSED as of midnight Saturday, until further notice, in response to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and actions outlined by Gov. David Ige. To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Park will offer no services except those that support visitor or resource protection.

         All public areas, including trails, roads, campgrounds, the backcountry, and public restrooms are closed to visitors. All commercial tours and special use permits are suspended. The Kahuku Unit is closed. 

    Lines like this won't be seen for a while: Hawaiʻi Volcanoes
    National Park,including the Kahuku Unit, is closed until further
    notice to help stop the spread of COVID-19. NPS photo
         The announcement from the Park states: "The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Hawai‘i VolcanoesNational Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor COVID-19."
         The public will be notified when full operations resume. Updates will be placed on nps.gov/coronavirusand social media channels. NPS encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, including social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter– and U.S. Geological Survey webcams at nps.gov/havo/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm. The NPS education team has also created curriculum resources for families at home with children in kindergarten through high school that highlight the geology, biology and Hawaiian culture that define the park at nps.gov/havo/learn/education/curriculummaterials.htm.


    Some of the only visitors allowed in the Park until
    further notice. Photo by Julia Neal
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    STATE-PERMITTED COMMERCIAL OCEAN TOURS ARE CANCELLED with commercial operator permits suspended until further notice. The suspension covers tour operators, surf schools, sight-seeing, whale-watching, dinner cruises, and any commercial operation in state waters.
         Board of Land & Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case made the announcement, saying, "Many people are not practicing the recommended social distancing protocols, so it's become necessary for us to take these extraordinary steps to help encourage the six-foot separation between people recommended by Gov. Ige, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and our experts at the Department of Health."
         Case said, "We are all in this together. It is an enormous inconvenience and upsetting to the kind of lifestyle we enjoy in Hawaiʻi. The faster we stop the spread of COVID-19 by everyone praciticing social distancing, the quicker we’re likely to see our lives return to normal."
         In addition to closing some state parks four days ago, the Department of Land & Natural Resources shut down all state parks today. Curt Cottrell, State Parks Administrator, said, "Many, many people are simply ignoring gates and signs and choosing to put themselves and many others close-by at risk of contracting COVID-19.
         This week, DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife closed commercial tours on state trails and in wildlife sanctuaries.

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    FRIENDS AND FAMILIES OF INMATES CAN'T VISIT PRISONS AND JAILS. Only attorneys are allowed and all probation hearings have been delayed past April 3. The state Department of Corrections reports no suspicion of any COVID-19 symptoms among inmates. Work furloughs are put on hold.
         The Arizona facility under contract to care for a portion of Hawaiʻi's prison population also reports no cases and that prisoner visits are prohibited.
         State courthouses were shut down to the public late Friday by Hawaiʻi Chief Justice Mark Rectenwald, who announced, "The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and the Judiciary is taking appropriate steps to ensure the safety of our community. We join Hawaiʻi's leaders in doing everything possible to slow the spread of this virus."
         Most proceedings, including traffic and criminal cases, are postponed. The courts will only hear
    criminal arraignment, plea and extradition hearings, initial appearances for felony cases, preliminary hearings for in-custody defendants, bail hearings, and hearings deemed urgent by the presiding judge.

    Vince Mina
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    HAWAIʻI FARMERS UNION UNITED Pres. Vince Mina is encouraging farmers to consider applying for state Department of Agriculture help "during this period of heightened awareness and economic uncertainty." The application to the state COVID-19 Emergency Farmer Relief application is online. See Word docx download and the PDF download. Completing the application helps the Department of Agriculture to quantify the needs of the local farmers to gauge the level of funding needed and to determine where the funding will be most impactful.
         "The goal is to support local farmers by purchasing the supply of food produced until the demand resumes and/or by facilitating food distribution," said Mina. "The goal is to minimize the need to import food. Funding will depend on the availability and release of funds." He noted that applying for funding doesn't guarantee it. "Mahalo nui to the farmers, gardeners, ranchers, and food growers in Hawaiʻi. This is our time to shine."

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    THE NEXT KAʻŪ CHAPTER MEETING OF HAWAIʻI FARMERS UNITED IS POSTPONED. Chapter President Matt Drayer said he and other like minded farmers "will be focusing on growing as much food as possible to at least keep the Kaʻū region fed." He said he has some housing for those who might want to stay on his farm and help to grow food. Call 808-339-8737.

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    KAʻŪ STUDENT ARTISTS WERE HONORED at the 32nd Annual Young at Art Exhibition opening reception in early March. Each year, the juried art show, held at the East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center, selects works of art from students of all ages around the island attending public, charter, private, and home schools. All selected participants received a certificate and a letter from Mayor Harry Kim.

    Jeysiah Camba-Penera of Pāhala, with his work Deeper
    Photo by Darlene Javar
         Kamehameha Schools of Hawaiʻi senior, Jeysiah Camba-Penera of Pāhala, under the tutelage of teacher Carl Pao, won a coveted Judges' Choice Award for his art work entitled Deeper. Camba-Penera described his graphite on bristoldrawing as depicting "a deep sea underwater landscape with a lot of stylized components. I wanted to do this because I was really focusing on my shading techniques at the time." He added that he spent a month planning and completing his drawing, making sure to base the parts of his drawing on real aquatic flora and fauna. Camba-Penera's prize package included a $20 gift certificate to Big Island Candies and a $40 cash prize from Puna Geothermal Venture.

    Third-grader Lia Wilkey shows her Judges' Choice Award and a second art 
    piece she created using the techniques she learned in ʻIke Hawaiʻi class. 
    Wilkey was so inspired the day she finished her winning art piece in
     school, she went home and made the art piece shown here, left. She said 
    she added olivine and bits of rubbish she found 
    in her back yard. Photo by Darlene Javar

         Last year, Camba-Penera's Photoshop pop art received an honorable mention at the Young at Art exhibit. Next year, he will attend University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, studying fine arts with a focus on illustration or 2D animation. He hopes to eventually transfer to a traditional art school.

         Third-grader Lia Wilkey, of Nāʻālehu Elementary, also won a Judges' Choice Award for her mixed media piece entitled Saving the Monk Seal. Wilkey created the art piece as a culmination of her unit of study on marine debris in her ʻIke Hawaiʻi Specials class. The class is a collaborative program between Kamehameha Schools Kealapono teachers Sheilah Okimoto and Nālani Parlin, and Nāʻālehu Elmentary specials teachers Linda Morgan and John Derry. Wilkey said she hoped people would learn from her art that marine debris is "trash that is killing the animals." Wilkey won a $25 KTA gift certificate and $40 from Puna Geothermal Venture.

    Koko Davis'Marine Debris Hawaiian Monk Seal. Photo by Darlene Javar

          Wilkey's classmates in Kumu Amber Keohuloa's room – Koko Davis, Lokahi Kaupu, Melissa Saldana, and Kahinaliʻi Tayamen – were also selected for display at the exhibit. After learning about the detrimental effects of marine debris, students channeled their frustrated emotions onto paper via oil pastels and frenetic lines. After applying a watercolor wash, students tore the paper into pieces, symbolizing their stance against marine debris. Students used the resulting paper shreds as a collage for the base of their art work. Choosing from among honu (sea turtle), mōlī (Lasayan albatross) and Hawaiian monk seal, students painted the face of the animal they most identified with, adding marine debris that they collected in an ʻIke Hawaiʻi science experiment. Davis' piece is entitled Marine Debris Hawaiian Monk Seal, Kaupu's work is Save the Mōlī, Saldana's art is Hawaiian Monk Seal, and Tayamen's piece is called Saving the Monk Seal.

    Lokahi Kaupu's Save the Mōl. Photo by Darlene Javar

         An ʻIke Hawaiʻi Specials class second-grade group piece entitled Nā Leo O Puʻu Kaiholena (The Voices of Kaiholena), received an Award of Recognition. This art piece incorporated several individual tinfoil relief art pieces from students in Janine Kawazoe's and Janice McRoberts' homerooms at Nāʻālehu Elementary. Inspired by class field trips, led by Nohea Kaʻawa of The Nature Conservancy, to Kaiholena to learn about the ma uka environment, students used creative lines and symbols to represent plants and animals found there. They include the uluhe fern, ʻōhiʻa lehua, kōpiko plant, and iʻo, Hawaiian Hawk. The art piece won a $10 KTA gift certificate and $20 cash, which ʻIke Hawaiʻi teachers will put toward a celebration for these student artists.

    Melissa Saldana's HawaiianMonkSea. Photo by Darlene Javar
         Other pieces created in the ʻIke Hawaiʻi Specials class selected for the Young at Art Exhibit were made by Nāʻālehu fourth graders Caton Blanco, from Kuʻulei Pablo's homeroom, and Deijah Cabanilla-Nogales, from Michelle Buck's homeroom. In this program, students used their ʻohana and cultural origins as inspiration for an artwork of their choice. Blanco's painting, Sit Back, Relax, represents the fun times he has with his family watching sunsets. Cabanilla-Nogales' tissue paper collage, Reflection of My Life, pays homage to her Filipino and Mexican heritage. Both flags are represented on her piece, but in mirror image.

         The final art piece with ties to Kaʻū selected for display is a group work created by students in Ryan Holderbaum's second-grade class at Nāʻālehu Elementary in the ʻIke Hawaiʻi Specials program. After learning about and experiencing the strong Kūehulepo, kick up the dirt, wind of Nāʻālehu, students used oil pastels and watercolor to draw their impressions of this strong force of nature.
    Nā Leo O Puʻu Kaiholena, or the voices of Kaiholena, depicts second-graders' representations of plants and animals 
    found at Kaiholena. After sketching out their design, the artists glued string and yarn over their drawing, and applied 
    tinfoil to create a relief. Then, students boldly colored their art with permanent markers. Photo by Darlene Javar

         Principal Darlene Javar represented Nāʻālehu Elementary at the opening reception, along with Deijah and family, fourth-grade teacher Michelle Buck, third-grade teacher Amber Keohuloa, third-grader Koko Davis, and coach Nellie Davis.

    Sit Back, Relax by Caton Blanco. Photo by Darlene Javar
         Young at Art coordinator, Judith Hara, wrote, "Our world needs creative, inventive minds that may foster peaceful ways to coexist with each other. We hope you will continue to support the arts in our schools and in our community and in your lives."
         Although the EHCC is closed this month due to concerns over COVID-19, the exhibit can still be viewed by visiting ehcc.org/content/young-art-2020 and scrolling down to the image gallery.


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    NO IN-PERSON VOTING for the Hawaiʻi Democratic Party-run presidential primary on April 4. Over COVID-19 concerns, officials for the Party said on Friday they will add another round of mailed ballots to allow members who register to vote by April 4 to cast a ballot.

    Deijah Cabanilla-Nogales and family at the Young At Art show
    in early March. Photo from Michelle Buck
         Party officials are encouraging "everyone with a ballot now to mail it back as soon as possible in case there are further disruptions."

         Hawaiʻi Republicans canceled their presidential caucus because President Donald Trump is the only Republican candidate.


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    HOW IMPORTANT GEOLOGICAL SAMPLES ARE to a volcanologists' work is the focus of this week's Volcano Watch, written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates:

         HVO's geological sample collections are an important resource.
         In the past, HVO would occasionally post images of people collecting lava samples on our website. These photos usually featured a person (with little-exposed skin) holding a rock hammer, with a metal bucket nearby. The bucket contained water to "quench" the sample, solidifying the hot lava into a cold glass. Natural-fiber or heat-resistant gloves, and sometimes a face mask, protected the sample collector from heat radiating off the 1150-degrees-Celsius (2100-degrees-Fahrenheit) lava. The hammer was used to scoop some of the molten material into the bucket, which would hiss and steam in reaction; more water would be added to cool down the sample so it could be placed in a cloth bag. 
    On December 30, 2015, an HVO geologist wore protective gear during 
    collection of a fresh lava sample for chemical analysis from a pāhoehoe 
    breakout along scattered Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flows. Inset photo caption: Metadata 
    is written on a bag that holds a sample taken from pāhoehoe that was 
    collected on August 18, 2006. The front of the bag notes the date and time 
    the sample was collected, sample-collector initials, a description of the 
    sample, and ID; the coordinates of the sample collection location 
    are written on the back of the sample bag. HVO photos

         HVO carefully archives or curates these precious geological samples collected by current and past HVO geologists, collaborators, visiting scientists, and volunteers. Most of the HVO samples were collected from around the Island of Hawai‘i over the past several decades as part of HVO's mission to monitor eruptive activity (sampling active lava flows) or to characterize previous volcanic activity (sampling prehistoric lava flows on or beneath the surface). For samples collected within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, HVO works closely with National Park Service archivists to ensure appropriate record keeping and tracking.

         When a sample is collected, it's important to document the sample's "metadata." This includes the name of the sample collector, coordinates marking the sample location, and the collection date. If the sample was taken from molten lava, it's labeled as a "quenched" sample, and the time of sample collection is also noted.

         As part of metadata, geologists generally describe the sample location (such as the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea) and characterize the sample itself (a grey-colored, discontinuous, fine ash, for example). Usually, the sample is given a unique identifier, often a combination of numbers and letters, which is written on the sample bag. This ID connects the sample to its metadata, which is entered into a searchable database.
         Much preparation and forethought go into sample collection, with prior project planning, permitting, and gaining permission from landowners.  For every geologist, it's important to ask: "What question(s) will this sample help me to answer?" Samples are collected sometimes because their specific chemistry or physical characteristics can reveal important information that helps scientists to understand the past, or on-going, or potential future volcanic activity and hazards.
         For example, a sample of ash from the Ka‘ū Desert indicates that ash was deposited in that location at some point in the past and could, therefore, be deposited there in the future. Particle size and chemical analyses of the ash can provide information about the eruption magnitude (size) and character (was the eruption driven by steam or magmatic gas?).
    An HVO geologist in protective gear, collecting 
    of a fresh lava sample. HVO photo

         Such information improves understanding of the range of behaviors Hawaiian volcanoes exhibited in the past and could exhibit in the future. Likewise, rapid analyses of molten lava samples during the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption allowed HVO to detect changes in magma chemistry that foretold a change in eruptive behavior—the arrival of increasingly hot and fluid lava—and associated hazards.

         Several sample collections are currently being curated at HVO. The youngest consists of lava and ejecta from Kīlauea's 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit-collapse events. Other collections include lava samples from historical eruptions of Kīlauea (including products of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and ejecta collected downwind of Halema‘uma‘u when there was an active lava lake); geological samples that aided in creating the Geologic map of the Island of Hawaii; and ash and other ejecta collected as part of research to understand older explosive events in Kīlauea's history. The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō collection in particular is perhaps unique in the world for its completeness and longevity covering a single eruptive event and is thus extremely valuable.

         Each sample collection and resulting analytical data informs HVO and the wider volcanological community a little more about the behavior and hazards of Hawaiian volcanoes. These collections will continue to be an important resource for researchers, especially because some samples are from areas that are no longer accessible, having been covered by more recent lava flows or within the area of Kīlauea's summit that collapsed in 2018.

         Eventually, one of Hawaiʻi's volcanoes will erupt again, and HVO will have another sample collection to curate and care for, and to help us understand Hawaiian volcanoes and their hazards a little more.

    Comparison of the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u on Nov. 20 and March 1. In that time, the pond deepened 10 m (33 ft) 
    and widened more than 50 m (164 ft) east-west and 30 m (98 ft) north-south. Circled clusters of rocks did not move 
    between photos, evidence of slope stability. The water's color browned with time, though the photos probably exaggerate 
    the color difference. The blue-green water at the far and near ends of the pond is interpreted as groundwater entering 
    the pond. Camera and lens same for both photos.  USGS photos by D. Swanson

         Volcano Activity Updates

         Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. The USGS Volcano Alert level remains at NORMAL:  volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.htmlKīlaueamonitoring data over the past month showed no significant changes in seismicity, sulfur dioxide emission rates, or deformation. The water lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continued to slowly expand and deepen. A plot of depth is visible at the bottom of this web page: volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/monitoring_data3.html
         Mauna Loa is not erupting. The USGS Volcano Alert level remains at ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption is certain. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly.
         This past week, about 87 small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded beneath the upper elevations of Mauna Loa; the strongest was a M3.9 event on March 19 in the Ninole Hills area. Monitoring data showed that slow summit inflation continued and fumarole temperature and gas concentrations on the Southwest Rift Zone remain stable.

         There were 3 events with 3 or more felt reports in the Hawaiian islandsduring the past week. A magnitude-1.7 earthquake 3 km (2 mi) WSW of Pāhala at 5 km (3 mi) depth occurred on March 19 at  A magnitude-3.2 earthquake 21 km (13 mi) SW of Leilani Estates at 6 km (4 mi) depth occurred on March 17 at 06:20 p.m. A magnitude-3.2earthquake 6 km (4 mi) W of Volcano at -1 km (-1 mi) depth occurred on March 15 at
         Visit HVO's website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlaueaand Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.



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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:
         Department of Health reports that there are 48 positive cases of novel coronavirus throughout the state, with three cases on Hawaiʻi Island. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has 15,219 cases, including 4,777 reported today, with 201 deaths, 51 reported today. Worldwide, there are more than 266,000 cases, including 32,000 reported today, and 11,184 deaths, including 1,344 reported today.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 24, , host Kamehameha

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    MONDAY, MARCH 23
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Monday, March 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24
    CANCELLED: Registration for Charades, open Monday-Friday, March 23-27, for program at Kahuku Park in HOVE on Tuesday, March 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. Teresa Anderson, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 929-9113

    CANCELLED: Paper Straw Tulip Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 24. Program Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

    CANCELLED: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook, Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Captain James Cook once wrote that he intended to go not only "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go." Join local guide and historian Rob Kitsell as he looks closer at the man who was Captain James Cook, and the fateful third voyage when Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, February 14, 1779. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Pū‘ohe Demonstration, Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. The pū‘ohe is a Hawaiian bamboo trumpet with a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Like other native instruments, it takes the spirit breath to produce the proper sound. Join rangers and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association staff as they share their knowledge and help you make your own pū‘ohe. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes'‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. nps.gov/havo

    CANCELLED: Gone Country Band Live Country Music, Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Line dancers will accompany the performance. $5 cover charge. KMC open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com, 967-8365

    FRIDAY, MARCH 27
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

    SATURDAY, MARCH 28
    CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

    POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.

    CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

    CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222


    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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    Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals continue to recolonize the inhabited Hawaiian Islands after a quarter century of
    population decline, mainly in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Photo from NOAA
    A RECORD 48 HAWAIIAN MONK SEALS WERE BORN in 2019 in the main Hawaiian Islands, according to a report from the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, carried last week by the Associated Press and in news services around the world. The Research Program, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reports that about 300 Hawaiian monk seals live in the inhabited Hawaiian Islands, where they have recolonized in recent years, while 1,100 live in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The population seems to be growing about 2 percent a year since 2013, showing signs of recovery throughout the islands. However, the Hawaiian Monk Seal is described by NOAA as "one of the most endangered seal species in the world" and is protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and State of Hawaiʻi law.
    A record number of endangered Hawaiian monk seals were born
     in 2019. Read below about the slow recovery of one
    of Hawaiʻi's two endemic mammal species.
    Photo from Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response
         One of the pups of 2019 is named Kaulana, the only one born last year on Hawaiʻi Island. He is the son of 12-year old RA20, who gave birth to him last March in Kona. Her first pup, born at the same site in February 2018, is named Manuiwa.
         Ke Kai Ola, an organization that tracks monk seals, issued a statement saying, "It has been hard to say whether the main Hawaiian Islands seal population was growing or holding steady. The 2019 results seem to say the number of endemic Hawaiian monk seals in the islands is growing. However, many threats remain, including human-caused ones like nets. The public is advised to follow guidelines for fishing safely. A major threat to the growth of the Hawaiian Monk Seals population in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, where the majority of pups are born each year, is inadequate food and some predation by sharks. The population there declined during the last quarter century. Other threats included toxoplasmosa and intentional killings.
    An endangered Hawaiian monk seal with her new pup, left. Photo from Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response
    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    UNIVERSAL TESTING IS NECESSARY to control COVID-19, according to former Hawaiʻi Gov. Neil Abercrombie. He sent a hand written letter to Gov. David Ige on Saturday, saying "We have to shut this thing down. We cannot have this wait-and-watch...." He said state officials should search the world for test kits and test everyone in Hawaiʻi. He also recommended the stay-at-home, work-at-home order for the entire state.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    GOV. DAVID IGE MAY ORDER EVERYONE IN HAWAIʻI TO STAY AT HOME. The measure would supplement his directive from Saturday, establishing a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming into the state. Ige issued a statement today after the mayor of City & County of Honolulu, and mayor of Maui, Lanaʻi, and Molokaʻi, ordered residents to stay-at-home and work-at-home. Ige said the mayors "have my full support." On Wednesday, Kauaʻi's mayor issued a curfew from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., until further notice.
         The governor said that he and Hawaiʻi's  mayors "have been working together on this issue, and this morning we agreed that the mayors should develop their own plans to meet the unique needs of their counties. We also agreed that statewide action will be needed. I have directed the Attorney General to review the orders other states have issued and prepare a statewide plan that will keep the people of Hawaiʻi safe and healthy."
         The stay-at-home, work at home on Oʻahu, is where there were 41 cases as of Saturday, starts Monday at 4:30 p.m. On Maui, where there were nine cases, it begins a minute after midnight on Wednesday. The mayor of Kauaʻi says he will likely order a stay-at-home order on Monday.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    HAWAIʻI'S U.S. SENATORS EXPLAINED THEIR "NO" VOTES today on the $2 trillion novel coronavirus economic stimulus bill, aimed at giving relief to those who are losing employment and business during the crisis.
         Sen. Brian Schatz said he opposed the bill because it was rewritten to become "a giveaway to Wall Street that leaves out people and small businesses and front line health workers."
    COVID-19, under an electron microscope. NPR image
         Sen. Mazie Hirono said,  "My constituents are rightly demanding that Congress pass a bill that actually helps people who need it most – workers, families, and the most vulnerable in our community." She said the bill that was voted down Saturday "does almost nothing to combat the severe shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment in our hospitals. It provides a $500 billion slush fund for huge corporations with little transparency or oversight."
         Hirono said, "Governors across the country are having to step up in the absence of meaningful action from the Trump Administration in combating the coronavirus. This is especially difficult because states do not know how widespread coronavirus is in their communities because we still don't have enough test kits. Yesterday, the Governor of Hawaiʻi – working with county mayors, the visitor industry, and labor – issued an emergency proclamation establishing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all individuals who travel to Hawaiʻi to stop the spread of COVID-19. This action effectively shuts down the visitor industry in our state. Tourism is our state's largest private industry that employs tens of thousands.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    UNEMPLOYMENT FILING ISSUES are being addressed as quickly as possible, said Gov. David Ige in a statement on Friday. "Please be assured that we are taking the actions necessary to ensure that all unemployment benefits claims will be filed and paid as quickly as possible. Please bear with us as we develop capacity and expand points of entry for filing claims."
         Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Scott Murakami said his staff members are working toward actions to address unemployment claims filing problems. They are also working on a program to efficiently train and transfer labor into Hawaiʻi's businesses that can help reduce job losses and dampen the economic slide due to COVID-19.

         The governor said that unemployment benefits will be paid to individuals who file their initial unemployment claims late. He said the department is expanding the online claims filing system capacity and increasing the phone facilities to field inquiries and assist in the filing of claims; allocating staff from other programs to facilitate claims filing, processing, and benefits; registering unemployment claims with the state workforce system on behalf of workers; working with employers and labor organizations to facilitate the filing of claims. The department is also expanding availability of paper forms to file for unemployment benefits, and adding drop boxes at unemployment offices statewide and at employer worksites.

         Ige said the state will interpret Hawai‘i's unemployment laws "to the broadest extent possible" to cover those who are out of work because of COVID-19, and the department is making the adjustments necessary to "loosen eligibility requirements" for claimants, and reduce or eliminate experience rate adjustments for employers because of employees who receive unemployment benefits because of COVID-19.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    SMALL BUSINESSES IN HAWAIʻI CAN APPLY for low-interest loans under the economic disaster declaration. Small Business Association's Economic Injury Disaster Loans will provide approved small businesses without credit available elsewhere with loans of up to $2 million at 3.75 percent Annual Percentage Rate, and non-profits with 2.75 percent APR. Terms are determined on a case by case basis, based upon borrower's ability to repay. The SBA's goal is to make decisions on each application within 21 days. For businesses facing short-term liquidity issues, including making certain debt payments, it is highly recommended that they contact their bank to see what kind of relief programs may be available.

         SBA uses a "table of size standards," which defines a small business based on the business's number of employees and average annual receipts. Using these criteria, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a business with a maximum of 1,500 employees.
         According to an analysis by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism there are 8,302 businesses in Hawai‘i with 99 or fewer employees. Those businesses account for 96,189 jobs with a combined annual payroll of $3.16 billion.  
         The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll and other bills that can't be paid because of a disaster's impact. 

          Gov. David Ige said, "Small businesses are a vital economic driver in our community, and we must do everything we can to support them as they struggle through this crisis. We appreciate the SBA's quick action to approve this loan program for small businesses that have been hit so hard by COVID-19 outbreak."

         Loan applicants are required to complete and file a loan application (SBA Form 5); Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413); and Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used). Loan forms and additional information can be accessed online at the SBA's Disaster Assistance Loan Portal

         Sen. Mazie Hirono said the SBA's program "unlocks much-needed assistance for Hawai'i small businesses. This interim step will provide urgent support while I continue fighting to secure additional relief in any new stimulus package." Hirono helped introduce the COVID-19 RELIEF for Small Businesses Act last week. A comprehensive proposal, it would provide relief for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal enhances existing tools available to SBA and creates new ones to expand the federal government's capacity to bolster small businesses, including a recovery grant program; temporary fee waivers for SBA's export promotion loan programs; and the Small Business Debt Relief Act, which would provide loan deferrals for small businesses with government-backed loans.
         Said Hirono, "We all recognize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to come together as a community to respond. Social distancing, closures, and other measures are necessary to protect public health, but these same necessary measures will have a significant negative impact on Hawaiʻi's small businesses. They need our support during these challenging times. The federal government must play an active role in supporting these businesses and their employees."


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

    Andrea Kawabata is self-quarantined after international travel but says
    she is still available through email, Zoom. She works often with
    Kaʻū Coffee and macadamia farmers. Photo by Lora Botonova
    ANDREA KAWABATA IS SELF QUARANTINED. The University of Hawaiʻi extension agent who works with many coffee, macadamia, and other farmers in Kaʻū sent out a message today, saying she just returned from an international trip: "Farm visits will be scheduled following this two-week period, should I be healthy. Communications will be through the main Kona Cooperative Extension office, Zoom and email (andreak@hawaii.edu) for now. I care deeply for all of you and hope you all remain healthy and safe. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll try and help, or refer you to those who should be able to. Thank you for your understanding."
         The ten University of Hawaiʻi campuses around the state are closed to everyone except current students and employees, and classes are online. Hawaiʻi county cooperative extension offices and research stations are also closed to the public.
         Kawabata said that "ADSC is closed for the time being so no new samples will be accepted. We will let you know when the lab is up and running again. Extension faculty can do farm visits if necessary, while adhering to the CDC's guidelines of six feet of separation."
         Questions can be directed to the nearest extension office: Hilo – Komohana Research and Extension Center – (808) 969-8201; Kamuela – Kamuela Extension Office – (808) 887-6183; and Kona – Kona Extension Office – (808) 322-4892.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    MEALS FOR ALL PERSONS 18 YEARS AND YOUNGER will be given out at Kaʻū High on weekdays, breakfast and lunch, through at least April 6. Breakfast pick-up times are 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and lunch is 11:30 a.m. to noon.
    Grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for those 18 and under
    will be available starting tomorrow at Kaʻū High.
    Photo from Dept. of Ed
         Youth must be present to claim the pre-packaged meals; the meals will be outside the cafeteria. Service is Monday through Friday, except for Prince Kuhio Day this Thursday, March 26.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:
         Department of Health reports that there are 56 positive cases, including a child according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, of novel coronavirus throughout the state, with 3 cases on Hawaiʻi Island. So far, none are said to be from community spread.
         According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has 15,219 cases, including 0 reported today (no reports made), with 201 deaths, 0 reported today (no reports made). Worldwide, there are more than 292,142 cases, including 26,069 reported today, and 12,784 deaths, including 1,600 reported today.
         According to Vice President Mike Pence, who is the national lead in this crisis, at least 254,000 Americans have so far been tested and received results for COVID-19, and more than 30,000 have tested positive in the U.S.; those numbers do not include local hospitals or private labs that have conducted tests. He said that commercial labs should be caught up in the backlog of testing by the middle of the week. Commercial labs should prioritize inpatient testing, he said, and guidance will be sent on that Monday.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 24, , host Kamehameha

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    MONDAY, MARCH 23
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Monday, March 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24
    CANCELLED: Registration for Charades, open Monday-Friday, March 23-27, for program at Kahuku Park in HOVE on Tuesday, March 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. Teresa Anderson, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 929-9113

    CANCELLED: Paper Straw Tulip Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 24. Program Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

    CANCELLED: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook, Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Captain James Cook once wrote that he intended to go not only "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go." Join local guide and historian Rob Kitsell as he looks closer at the man who was Captain James Cook, and the fateful third voyage when Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, February 14, 1779. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Pū‘ohe Demonstration, Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. The pū‘ohe is a Hawaiian bamboo trumpet with a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Like other native instruments, it takes the spirit breath to produce the proper sound. Join rangers and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association staff as they share their knowledge and help you make your own pū‘ohe. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes'‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. nps.gov/havo

    CANCELLED: Gone Country Band Live Country Music, Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Line dancers will accompany the performance. $5 cover charge. KMC open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com, 967-8365

    FRIDAY, MARCH 27
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

    SATURDAY, MARCH 28
    CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

    POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.


    CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

    CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 30
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


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    Keiki receives a free lunch from the Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School kitchen today. The drive-up, walk-up
    free breakfasts and lunches are given out weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. and noon.
    See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
    THE ENTIRE STATE WILL SHUT DOWN for six weeks, beginning this Wednesday, March 25 at 12:01 a.m. Gov. David Ige gave the order today for everyone to stay at home until April 30 to stem the number of cases of COVID-19. Exempt are workers in essential services, such as in utilities, fueling, farming, sales and distribution of food - including take out, medical clinics, hospitals and pharmacies, maintenance and construction, the hotel industry, banks, credit unions, schools, and police and fire departments.
         Members of the public can go shopping; get food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, and other essentials; bank; go to the post office; pick up educational materials for students; and take care of the elderly and disabled. Also allowed is exercise, to include surfing, swimming, walking, and running, as well as strolling with a pet on a leash - all at a safe distance from other people.
         The fine for disobeying the stay-at-home order is up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
         Ige also extended the deadline to file personal and business state taxes from April 20 to July 20. The national deadline for federal taxes is changed from April 15 to July 15.

     To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.   

    Cy Lopez picks up three meals for keiki at the Pāhala school cafeteria, hand
    delivered to his truck by Principal Sharon Beck. Photo by Julia Neal
    FIRST DAY OF FREE FOOD FOR ANYONE 18 and under drew 25 for breakfast and 45 for lunch at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary today. The drive through, walk-up process featured cafeteria manager Suezette Louis and crew, along with Principal Sharon Beck and her clerical assistant Shai Lopez. Children can receive the packaged hot meals directly, and caregivers can pick them up for those children they bring with them.
         Other schools on island providing the free nutrition service while the schools are closed for novel coronavirus concerns are Pāhoa High & Intermediate, Konawaena High, Waiakea High, and Kohala High. Statewide, such remote schools as Kapaʻa High on Kauaʻi are also providing free food. Almost all of Kaʻū students qualify for free breakfasts and lunches, under a U.S. Department of Agriculture and state Department of Education cooperative program.
         The school principal said she is thinking about ways to serve the Ocean View community of school students staying home during this shutdown period.

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    Justie Wroblewski at Kaʻū Hospital, a staff member in the activities department, checks in patients in front
    of the hospital with assistance from Security Attendant Ernest Oleyte. Photo from Kaʻū Hospital
     A NO-VISITOR POLICY AT KAʻŪ HOSPITAL AND SCREENING AT THE CLINIC are instated. A message today says, "Like other health care facilities that provide long-term care services on the island, Kaʻū Hospital has implemented a 'no visitor' policy. We know the emotional toll that takes on our residents and families but that is the only proven way to minimize the chances of the COVID-19 virus entering our building and infecting our kūpuna. Our staff members are working hard to keep families informed of their loved ones' progress and to find creative ways to keep them connected by phone, Facetime, Skype, and other methods.
         "Our most important mission is to keep our kūpuna safe. To that end, we are also checking everyone who comes into the building. Anyone with cough or fever will not be admitted unless they are here for medical care for themselves.
         "Our clinic is calling everyone who has a previously scheduled appointment to determine the urgency of their health concern. In most cases, the original appointment time will be kept, but the visit will be conducted over the phone by Dr. Deborah Brackett or our newest Nurse Practitioner, Melissa Cockrell. Not only does that prevent potential spread of the virus into the hospital, but it helps to ensure that people, particularly the elderly, stay at home as much as possible, and away from others who may be carrying the virus and not yet know it."
         After passing through the outdoor check-in station, patients who go to Kaʻū Hospital for outpatient services like laboratory, x-ray, and clinic will need to wait outside the building rather than congregate in waiting areas where it is not possible to practice social distancing. A staff member will serve as an escort into the building. The Emergency Department is operating as usual.

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    MEDICAL GRADE MASKS ARE "DESPERATELY" NEEDED by HiloMedicalCenter. An announcement from the hospital states the masks are needed "to protect our healthcare workers and patients as the COVID-19 crisis escalates. Please consider making a donation if at all possible: any amount will make a difference."

         N95 and surgical masks in original, unopened packaging will be accepted at HiloMedicalCenter's Human Resources Office at Rainbow Drive and Waianuenue Avenue, below the hospital, weekdays, from to The hospital requests handmade/sewn masks not be donated, but used by "friends and family." Questions? Call 932-3150.


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    COVID-19 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES IN HAWAIʻI SHOULD GO MUCH FURTHER, according to Sen. Kai Kahele who is running for U.S. Congress to represent Kaʻū and all of rural Hawaiʻi. He released the following statement regarding the self-quarantine of everyone coming to Hawaiʻi starting this Thursday, March 26. Kahele, a pilot, a member of the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard, who has piloted internationally for Hawaiian Airlines, gets into the details of people arriving in airplanes, including private jets.
         "I am writing to express my deep concern over the determinations, designations, and proclamations set forth in the Second Supplementary Proclamation, relating to the COVID-19 emergency, issued on March 21, 2020. I am gravely alarmed by the section of the order that invokes a mandatory self-quarantine of all individuals entering the State of Hawai‘i set to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 26, 2020. Specifically, the following concerns should be urgently addressed by your administration and the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency:
         "There are hundreds of flights and thousands of passengers arriving in the State of Hawai‘i both on U.S. domestic routes and international routes between the signing of the proclamation on March 21, 2020 and the time when the proclamation will go into effect on March 26, 2020. Are any of these passengers being screened at the point of departure and/or the point of arrival? Are we screening these passengers at our airports with temporal scanners and/or requiring them to fill out forms that identify whether they have flu-like symptoms, have been directly exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, and what their travel plans will be while in the islands? Are we capturing their names, addresses, and phone numbers in case they need to be contacted by a health professional? Do you have a 100 percent accountability for all commercial aircraft arriving in the State of Hawai‘i with passengers between now and 12:01 a.m. on March 26, 2020?
    State Sen. Kai Kahele, right, has a lot to say about people arriving to Hawaiʻi by plane. He is a pilot
     in the Air National Guard and has worked as a pilot for international flights for Hawaiian Air.
    Photo from Kai Kahele
         "It was indicated that the procedure for incoming passengers will be to fill out the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture Declaration Form as a means for tracking and accounting for individuals entering the State of Hawai‘i when the quarantine goes into effect. What is the procedure for international arrivals? International flights do not require the State of Hawai‘i Agriculture Form for international passengers or crew members when inbound to Hawai‘i. What form will be provided to them? Additionally, a Hawaiʻi Business Magazine article from 2015 references Jim Dannemiller, president of SMS Research, the firm contracted to scan and process the forms, admitting that 'the completion rate is less than half.' What enforcement procedures do you plan to institute to ensure incoming passengers are completing the forms accurately and honestly?
         "What is the procedure for private and corporate jets should they choose to fly to the State of Hawai‘i both from the U.S. mainland or international locations? Many of these aircraft have already begun arriving on every island, including Lana‘i, where there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Will they also require self-quarantine? How are we communicating with these private owners? Are we coordinating with the FAA to ensure when a flight plan is filed to Hawai‘i by a private jet owner or company that the flight plan information is provided to the state so officials can meet the aircraft upon arrival, process paperwork, and ensure the quarantine procedures are known and complied with by incoming passengers? Are those passengers being screened by a health professional when they arrive in the State of Hawai‘i?
    Sen. Kai Kahele asks for more oversight of health of those who arrive in private and corporate jets.
    Image of planned Kona Jet Center from AV8 Partners
         "What are the specific enforcement procedures to ensure that the individuals in a mandatory self-quarantine actually comply with the order? It was stated at the press conference that enforcement would be handled by the individual counties. Can you please explain exactly what that means? What resources or state law enforcement officers will be provided to supplement local law enforcement to enforce this order throughout the individuals quarantine period on the various islands?
         "The order specifically identifies 'all persons entering the State of Hawai‘i' and its primary focus is air travel - but have you identified boats, vessels and yachts that are in transit to the State of Hawai‘i? Will the quarantine apply to those passengers as well? How will that be executed by your administration? Just over the past few days, several U.S. vessels have attempted to enter Manele Small Boat Harbor on Lana‘i from Oregon, Washington, and the other Hawaiian Islands. What is your administration doing to immediately address this issue?
         "Like many other states and governors that have issued similar orders, you stated this order does not apply to pilots or flight crews. What is the State and your administration doing working with the airline industry to ensure that flight crews are provided the minimum personal protective equipment (PPE's) while they fly and perform their duties in confined spaces throughout the aircraft. What are their procedures during their layovers especially those flying to locations with major outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus?
         "It is my hope the information I provided in this letter will be immediately discussed and addressed by your administration and the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency. Just today, Sunday, March 22, 2020, nearly a hundred flights and hundreds of passengers have come into the State of Hawai‘i, many from locations with COVID-19 outbreaks. To not remediate this situation until 12:01 am on March 26, 2020 is to further put the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the State of Hawai‘i at grave risk. Unfortunately for us all, this imminent threat requires immediate draconian measures. There is no avoiding the reality that further delay in definitive action will cost lives in the near future.
         "For the safety of all our families and residents, I implore you to take action immediately."

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    Testing for COVID-19. Image from ucdavis.edu
    LOSS OF SENSE OF SMELL AND TASTE may be a symptom of COVID-19. The AmericanAcademy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery writes that loss of smell – Anosmia – in particular, "has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms. We propose that these symptoms be added to the list of screening tools for possible COVID-19 infection." Anosmia, hyposmia (a decrease in the sense of smell), and dysgeusia (the distortion of the sense of taste) in the absence of other respiratory disease such as allergic rhinitis, acute rhinosinusitis, or chronic rhinosinusitis "should alert physicians to the possibility of COVID-19 infection and warrant serious consideration for self-isolation and testing of these individuals."

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    DEFENDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT on the the tenth anniversary of its enactment, Sen. Mazie Hirono and 19 colleagues sent a letter, asking the Trump Administration to abandon efforts to repeal the law. Hirono said the President's "attacks on the ACA are especially dangerous during the COVID-19 pandemic and further jeopardize the health and economic security of workers, families, and the most vulnerable in our communities."
         Last week, the senators wrote: "The American people should never have to worry that their President will pull their health insurance out from under them, but they especially shouldn't have that fear during a pandemic. The Affordable Care Act gives millions of Americans the peace of mind and the financial means to access health care, ensuring personal health and promoting public health. It's cruel to continue asking the courts to invalidate the ACA and pursuing your various other approaches to take away health care protections in the midst of the deadly COVID-19 outbreak."
         Read the whole letter here.
         Earlier this month, Hirono called on the Trump Administration to re-open the ACA enrollment window to provide Americans who are uninsured or at-risk of COVID-19 an opportunity to purchase health insurance during this global pandemic.

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    POSTPONEMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS of events in Kaʻū are stretching into April:


         Flyin' Hawaiian Coffee is closed at least through mid-April.
         Kaʻū Unity Fair Showcase Wellness Fair & Egg Hunt is cancelled. Scheduled for Saturday, April 11 at the Kaʻū District Gym Multipurpose Room, the fair was to feature food, an egg hunt, a fun run-walk, story time from The Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries, and vendors and exhibits from organizations such as Blue Zones Project, Children's Community Council, Kaʻū Rural Health and Community Association, Project Aware - Your Mental Health First Aid, Bay Clinic, Project Vision, Tūtū & Me; Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association, Public Health Nurse, Kaʻū Hospital, Alzheimer's Association, Abundant Health Acupuncture, Kaʻū Childrens' Business Fair, Kaʻū Gardening, and Keiki ID.

    A Youth Ranger at last year's Kaʻū Unity Fair. Photo by Julia Neal
         Mark Twain, a special free showing of the video of the 2007 one-man performance by Jerry Tracy, former artistic director of Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu, is cancelled for April 17. Tracy performed several times in Kaʻū at the Nāʻālehu Theater, Hana Hou restaurant, the UnitedMethodistChurch, and HOVE community center. Recorded at the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates community center, the performance also features the Myers Camp Trio. The performance tells the story of Mark Twain's journey from Kona to Waiʻōhinu, the planting of the Mark Twain monkeypod tree, and Twain's trek to Kīlauea. Presented by the Kaʻū History Project and the Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries, there is no rescheduled date.

         All events in April at Kīlauea Military Camp are cancelled: Grand Slam Band on Saturday, April 4 in the Lava Lounge; Soul Town Band on Saturday, April 11 in the Lava Lounge; KMC Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 12 in Crater Rim Café; KMC Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 12 in the ʻŌhia Room; Pupule Papales Band on Saturday, April 18 in the Lava Lounge; Gone Country Band on Wednesday, April 22 in the Lava Lounge; and Girls Night Out on Saturday, April 25 in the Lava Lounge.
         The Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, a shorter race than the big race in October, was scheduled for May 30. With a course along the KohalaCoast, it is postponed until August 15. All registered athletes of the triathlon will receive an email with further information. See ironman.com/im703-hawaii.


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    A WIND ADVISORY is in place for Kaʻū through 6 p.m. tomorrow. The National Weather Service advises northeast winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, with localized gusts over 45 mph, are expected. Strongest winds will be near mountains and gaps where winds blow downslope from higher terrain. NWS stated: "Winds this strong are capable of blowing around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down, and cause sporadic power outages." Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense advises residents to tie down loose objects or move them indoors.

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    A HIGH SURF ADVISORY is in place for south and east facing shores of Hawaii Island for Kaʻū through Wednesday. The National Weather Service states surf will be higher than normal, and that shore break and dangerous currents could cause injury or death. Property owners that may be impacted by high surf are advised to take the time now to secure property. Reminder: All beach parks are closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation.


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    VOLCANO GREENWASTE, SCRAP METAL, AND WHITE GOODS disposal will be closed until Thursday, March 26.


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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:

         The state Department of Health reports four cases of the virus on Hawaiʻi Island; at least two are locals who caught the virus elsewhere, and a fifth person with the virus returned to the mainland. Throughout the state, there are 77 cases – 21 reported in the last 24 hours – with four requiring hospitalization. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.
         Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reports that private clinical labs have tested more than 3,300 for novel coronavirus in Hawai‘i. Department of Health State Laboratories Division has tested 103 Persons Under Investigation and 263 sentinel surveillance samples taken from every county from people with flu-like symptoms who tested negative for influenza. All tested negative.

         Private laboratories are receiving steadily increasing numbers of test samples, delaying results, according to Civil Defense. Results take about a week. Civil Defense cautions health care providers and patients that results may take longer as demand increases.
         According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has recorded 31,573 cases, including 16,354 reported today. There are 402 deaths, half of them reported today. Worldwide, more than 332,930 people have become victims of COVID-19, with 40,788 reported today. The death toll is 14,510, with 1,727 reported today.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 24, , host Kamehameha

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    FRIDAY, MARCH 20
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 20 and 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    SATURDAY, MARCH 21
    CANCELLED: Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Kaʻū Clean-Up, Saturday, March 21. Volunteer spaces are limited; RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

    CANCELLED: Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Mamālahoa Hwy, Kamaʻoa Road, and Pinao Street, just above the Wong Yuen Store in Waiʻōhinu. Church members will sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and smoked meat bowls, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts. Other vendors will offer more items. For more information, call 928-8039.

    CANCELLED: Sign Up for and Attend Second Annual Kaʻū Children's Business Fair, Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to noon at Pāhala Community Center. Young entrepreneurs ages seven and 18 share their talents by selling handmade items and services. Learn more about participating at childrensbusinessfair.org/pahala. Visit Kaʻū Children's Business Fair's Facebook event page facebook.com/KAUCBF/. RSVP to the event at facebook.com/events/925342784527676/. Text KAUKIDSFAIR to 31996 for updates and information (message and data fees may apply).

    RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 20: Writing for Inner Exploration and Life Reflection Workshop with Tom Peek, Saturday, March 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 16: Improv Comedy Show, Saturday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. Headlined by Keli Semelsberger and Matt Kaye. A Big Island Comedy Theater showcase. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 23
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Monday, March 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24
    CANCELLED: Registration for Charades, open Monday-Friday, March 23-27, for program at Kahuku Park in HOVE on Tuesday, March 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. Teresa Anderson, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 929-9113

    CANCELLED: Paper Straw Tulip Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 24. Program Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

    CANCELLED: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook, Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Captain James Cook once wrote that he intended to go not only "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go." Join local guide and historian Rob Kitsell as he looks closer at the man who was Captain James Cook, and the fateful third voyage when Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, February 14, 1779. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    CANCELLED: Pū‘ohe Demonstration, Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. The pū‘ohe is a Hawaiian bamboo trumpet with a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Like other native instruments, it takes the spirit breath to produce the proper sound. Join rangers and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association staff as they share their knowledge and help you make your own pū‘ohe. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes'‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. nps.gov/havo

    CANCELLED: Gone Country Band Live Country Music, Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Line dancers will accompany the performance. $5 cover charge. KMC open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com, 967-8365

    FRIDAY, MARCH 27
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

    SATURDAY, MARCH 28
    CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

    POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.

    CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.


    CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 30
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

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    Former Kaʻū High Football Coach Bobby Barba wheels through Kaʻū District Gym parking lot on Tuesday
     for his gift from Hawaiʻi Food Basket, which distributed 14 days of food to families.
     See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
    BANK OF HAWAIʻI WILL TEMPORARILY CLOSE ITS PĀHALA BRANCH. The last day of teller service ends at 3 p.m. this Wednesday, March 25. Bankoh Chairman, President, and CEO Peter Ho said, "Temporarily streamlining our branch operations will help Bank of Hawaiʻi sustain resources, follow social distancing recommendations, and provide the best possible service to our customers during this challenging time." He is temporarily shuttering 40 of Bankoh's 68 locations.
    The ATM machine will remain open after the temporary
    closure of Bank of Hawaiʻi in Pāhala on Wednesday.
    Photo by Julia Neal
         Employees at Bank of Hawaiʻi in Pāhala said they still have their jobs and look forward to returning soon. All are from Kaʻū. Most can walk to work and their children's schools while serving a community that they know well. Customers outside the bank today talked about its ideal location, next to the only pharmacy in Kaʻū, where much of the population picks up medical supplies and sundries, and next to a post office and two food stores.
         Employees on duty today said the deposit box and ATM for retrieving cash, and depositing checks and money, will still be operational.
    The drop box will remain open after
    the temporary closure of the Bank
    of Hawaiʻi in Pāhala on Wednesday.
    Photo by Julia Neal
         Bank of Hawaiʻi is one of two financial institutions in Kaʻū, the other being CU Hawaiʻi Federal Credit union with branches in Nāʻālehu and Pāhala, as well as an ATM in Ocean View.

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    CU HAWAIʻI FEDERAL CREDIT UNION WILL begin limiting its access to branch lobbies tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25. It will maintain hours while allowing only a few persons at a time into its Nāʻālehu Branch. Its Pāhala branch is a walk up window and members will be asked to maintain social distancing.
         President and CEO James Takamine posted the message on CU Hawaiʻūi's website, saying:
         "For 65 years CU Hawaiʻi FCU has been committed to the safety and security of Hawaiʻi. Today, as we face uncertainty about COVID-19, that commitment has never been stronger. As we navigate this unprecedented situation, I wanted to personally share more about what we're doing to keep our members, employees and community safe."
         In addition to limiting lobby access, he wrote, "The current pandemic calls for some changes in the way we do business. You can rest assured that we are focused on helping our members. We are fortunate to have a number of programs in place that can be of assistance." He suggested: Online/Mobile Banking; Use Mobile Deposit to deposit checks; Bill Pay; Use debit card instead of carrying cash; If cash is needed, use a CU Hawaiʻi or First Hawaiian Bank ATM; Sign up for e-statements; Direct Deposit Use ATMs, Drive-thru, Remote Teller Stations, or Night Depositories.
    James Takmine, President and CEO of
    CU Hawaiʻi Federal Credit Union
         Reach the CU Hawaiʻi Call Center at 933-6700 or toll free at 1-800-933-6706.
         Takamine noted that appointments to be seen in person are being taken to apply for a loan and to open a new account. An online loan application is available through CUHawaii.com. Members who need assistance regarding their loans are asked to call to discuss a loan extension, loan modification, or a loan payment deferral.
         "COVID-19 isn't just a threat to our physical health; it's also a threat to our financial health and our economy," wrote Takamine. He noted that CU Hawaiʻi FCU is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration, up to $250,000. "We will get through this crisis together." he said.
         Nāʻālehu Branch at 96-5664 Mamalahoa Hwy is open Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 11;30 a.m. Its ATM is a walk-up open 24 hours a day.
         The Pāhala Branch at 96-3208 Maile Street is open on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
         CU Hawaiʻi also operates and Ocean View ATM at 92-8691 Lotus Blossom Lane, Monday - Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
         For other branches around the island, see CUHawaii.com.

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    Food Basket with many Kaʻū volunteers, gave out 14 days of food today. See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
    HAWAIʻI FOOD BASKET PROVIDED 14 DAYS OF FOOD for Kaʻū families, handing food out at Kaʻū District Gym this morning. A long line of cars and trucks motored through the parking lot for drive-up food distribution. Recipients provided the number of family members to be fed and Hawaiʻi Food Basket volunteers filled up truck beds and vehicle interiors with milk, eggs, and many other fresh foods.
    Members of ʻO Kaʻū Kākou helped to hand out food to families at
    Kaʻū District Gym on Tuesday. Photo by Julia Neal
         Today's distribution was a trial run and additional food events are planned. Food Basket regularly brought food to Kaʻū on Tuesdays to St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View, and on Thursdays to Sacred Heart Church in Nāʻālehu and the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry at Kaʻū District Gym. Food Pantry distributions have been temporarily cancelled around the island.
         Hawaiʻi Food Basket posted on its website: "We are actively working to protect vulnerable community members. This work includes preparing adjustments in the distribution of food to reduce contact or large gatherings of individuals such as increasing drive-through distributions and scheduled appointments for food assistance. These solutions involve distribution of boxes with a multi-day supply of shelf-stable food and locally procured fresh produce for individuals & families. We will be posting our schedule of island-wide community distribution sites shortly."
    Dozens of eggs go into the bed of a pickup that arrived to take food to
    a Kaʻū family. Photo by Julia Neal
         The Food Basket volunteers assist with providing nutrition to 14,000 individuals on the island. Volunteer opportunities include sorting and categorizing food; helping in the office in Hilo; lending a hand in the warehouse; restocking shelves; participating in the organization of an event; and giving out food at locations. Call the East Hawaiʻi Operations Manager at 808-933-6030 or email sarah@hawaiifoodbasket.org.

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    Hawaiʻi Food Basket representatives said giving out the 14-day supply of food was a test run, in part,
     replacing some Food Pantry operations that put people in closer proximity with one another.
    Photo by Julia Neal

    BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF THE BIG ISLAND is planning to reach out to Kaʻū with meals for keiki. The organization began its food service in Hilo on Monday with daily hot meals to support children, kūpuna, the homeless population, and "struggling families affected by the current health and economic crisis," said Boys &
    The Salvation Army receives food from Boys &
    Girls Club to distribute to the homeless and
    needy families. Photo from BGCBI
    Girls Club CEO Chad Cabral.  "As a result of this crisis many people on Island will lose their source of employment. Churches and volunteer groups that help to bring support to our homeless will not have the ability to hold services, collect donations, and convene to help in their normal fashion. And many of our youth will not have the transportation access to get to the school based cafeterias that will be offering the out of school meals.
         "Our daily Community Meal Support Initiative will literally transport and bring nutritional aid to our most vulnerable populations on Island during the crisis and help to fill in some of the shortfalls and resource gaps. This morning Boys & Girls Club began its effort in Hilo by cooking, plating and transporting 210 hot meals.
        Boys & Girls Club also committed to prepare and drop off meals to Hope Services Hawai'i, at their three shelters located in East Hawai'i and their shelter in Pahoa and to deliver sealed meals to keiki, kupuna, homeless and families in-need in the Hawaiian Home communities of Keaukaha and Panaewa.
     Cabral explained that the initiative will start in Hilo and Puna and shortly expand to Ka'u and particularly the Ocean View community. All meals will be free of charge "and we hope to be able to build the capacity to produce up to 500 meals 7-days a week throughout the duration of this crisis."
    Boys & Girls Club plans to help with food reaching Ocean
    View children who are out of school. Photo from BGCBI
         To donate, volunteer, and join, see  bgcbi.org.

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    PRODUCE AND RICE will be distributed by Big Island Giving Tree at St. Jude's in Ocean View tomorrow at  for anyone in need. Drive-thru format; those without vehicles are to stand ten feet back and they will be helped. "Mask, gloves & distance, please," Barbara Berskin told The Kaʻū Calendar.


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    "STAY SAFE, STAY CALM AND STAY PUT," writes Cindy Cutts, editor of the St. Jude's Episcopal Church monthly newsletter. In the April edition, she outlines changes in outreach to the community and church services.
         St. Jude's free hot shower program is suspended. The soup kitchen will change from soup to a sack lunch sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and a napkin, distributed outside of the church building,  on Saturday, March 28. Drinks will be placed on a table at the back door. The outside restroom will be open so folks can wash their hands before receiving drink and food.
    St. Jude's Hannah Makana ʻOhana Hula practice is postponed.
    Photo by Hannah Urbides
         The computer lab is closed. All in-person church services are suspended; watch online at stjudeshawaii.org/worship.html. Church-organized meetings are cancelled. For meetings not organized by the church, contact the group leader.

         Donations and contributions "are greatly appreciated and needed to continue our community engagement," states the April newsletter. Send by mail to St. Jude's Episcopal Church, 
    P.O. Box 6026
    , Ocean View, HI 96737, or drop off on Saturdays between  and . Read the newsletter at stjudeshawaii.org/uploads/2/7/0/3/2703074/st._judes_newsletter_april_2020.pdf.



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    THERE HAVE BEEN NO DEATHS IN THE ISLANDS FROM COVID-19, the state of Hawaiʻi announced today. The Department of Health had reported that a person passed away from the virus on March 20th on Oʻahu and suffered from multiple underlying health conditions. "The available history for this person suggests potential indirect travel-related exposure." The victim was tested at a clinical commercial laboratory, with indeterminate results. Follow-up testing, by the State Laboratories Division, ruled out COVID-19.
    Electron microscope image of the novel coronavirus that
    causes COVID-19. Image from NPR
         "All of Hawai‘i expresses condolences to the family of the person who died and shares in grieving their loss. Everyone is encouraged to take care of themselves and their loved ones during these difficult times," said the message from state government.

    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:

         The state Department of Health reports six cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island. Two were locals who caught the virus elsewhere. One was a visitor who stayed in a Hilo hotel after traveling to Maui and Germany, and has left the island. The three recently confirmed victims' details have not yet been released.
         Throughout the state, there are 91 confirmed cases – 14 reported in the last 24 hours – with seven requiring hospitalization. There has been zero deaths from COVID-19 – see article, above.
         According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has recorded 42,164 cases, including 10,591 reported today. There are 471 deaths, 69 reported today. Worldwide, more than 372,757 people have become victims of COVID-19, with 39,827 reported today. The death toll is 16,231, with 1,722 reported today. New worldwide cases and deaths are about the same as yesterday's.

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    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE with people cooped up, losing jobs, and unable to pay bills, while sheltering from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter released today from U.S Senators. Senators Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Kristen Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, and colleagues asked the Administration to help ensure that domestic violence victims and survivors receive the resources they need during the pandemic. They said that domestic violence service providers anticipate increased need in their services in the wake of the severe measures being taken to stop the spread of the virus, including more people working remotely, being forced to take unpaid leave, or losing their jobs.
         The Senators wrote that "An unintended but foreseeable consequence of these drastic measures will be increased stress at home, which in turn creates a greater risk for domestic violence. According to one recent article, emergency situations have 'historically led to increased reports of domestic abuse' to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
         "In addition, domestic violence service providers expect an increase in the need for emergency childcare and domestic violence shelters, as well as for supplies to keep centers and program sites safe and secure. It is critical that your agencies ensure that victims and survivors of domestic violence continue to have access to these vital services."
         Hirono said she also recommends closing loopholes for domestic abusers to get guns, including passing legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders by creating a domestic violence charge in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This law would helps ensure that those convicted of this domestic violence charge cannot buy a gun.

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    COUNTY PERMITTING WILL CONTINUE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in Hilo and Kona. The County of Hawaiʻi's Departments of Public Works and Planning announced today implementation of revised permit applications and inquiry processes effective immediately due to COVID-19 concerns.
         As of today, Tuesday, March 24, Hilo and Kona offices of DPW Engineering, Building, and Administration divisions, as well as Planning offices, are closed to walk-in inquiries and submittals until further notice.
    Hawaiʻi County Planning Director
    Michael Yee
         Planning and DPW offices will continue to review and process permits. Permit and document submittal stations are outside permit offices and monitored throughout the day. Staff will tape a note to the box indicating the day and time the box is to be received in the office. Processing will begin within 48 hours. All applications need to include the applicant's name, email, and a contact phone number.
         The County requests making general inquiries by phone or email to limit in-person interaction. "Personnel will strive to respond within one business day. Those applicants needing a consultation should call or email to make an appointment," says the statement from the county. "We ask for the public's patience as we expect longer response times. For more information, contact the respective department and/or DPW division. Here is their contact information:
        Planning Department: Hilo office: (808) 961-8288; Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, HI, 96720; and  Planning Department Kona office: (808) 323-4770; 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Bldg. E, Kailua-Kona, 96740. Email: planning@hawaiicounty.gov. Website: hiplanningdept.com. Drop off: Any Planning application, such as Plan Approval, Variances, ʻOhana Dwelling Permit, Short Term Vacation Rental, Change of Zone, etc.
         Department of Public Works Engineering Division: Hilo Office: (808) 961-8327; 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 7 Hilo, HI, 96720. Kona Office: (808) 323-4850; 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway; Bldg D, 1st Floor; Kailua-Kona, HI, 96740. Drop off: Grading, grubbing, stockpiling, and work within the County right-of-way applications and construction plans as well as floodplain management documents. Email: dpweng@hawaiicounty.gov. Website: hawaiicounty.gov/departments/public-works/engineering.
    Hawaiʻi County Public Works Director
    David P. Yamamoto
         Department of Public Works Building Department:
    Hilo Office: (808) 961-8331; 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 7; Hilo, HI, 96720. Kona Office: (808) 323-4720; 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway; Bldg E, 1st Floor, Kailua-Kona, HI, 96740. Email: cohbuild@hawaiicounty.gov.
    Website: hawaiicounty.gov/departments/public-works/building. Drop off: Building, electrical, plumbing, and sign applications and construction plans.
         It is recommended that the permit application process start online at papaaukahi.hawaiicounty.gov.
         Inspectors should be contacted via phone or email prior to scheduling an appointment.
         Department of Public Works Administration Division: (808) 961-8321; 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 7, Hilo, HI, 96720. Email: public_works@hawaiicounty.gov.
         Complaints can be submitted at hawaiicounty.gov/departments/public-works/administration-division/information-complaint-form.
         Contractors wishing to submit documents to Contracts section should either mail them or call to schedule an appointment.

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    NATIONAL VOTING BY MAIL is the goal of Sen. Mazie Hirono during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, she, and Sen. Amy Kobuchar and colleagues, introduced the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020.
    The legislation would ensure that Americans are able to vote, even in a public health emergency, by expanding early in-person voting and absentee vote-by-mail to all states. As a last resort, the legislation would also allow voters who did not receive their requested absentee ballot in time for Election Day to use a printable ballot currently only available to military and overseas voters.
         The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act follows the announcements of Georgia and Louisiana that the states are postponing their primaries, delays and confusion about the date of Ohio's primary, and concerns from other states about voting during this pandemic.
         "Americans' right to vote is sacred, and we must ensure everyone is able to vote, even in public health emergencies or other natural disasters. While the Trump Administration has been eager to gut our voting rights and support voter suppression efforts, I join my colleagues to protect the fundamentally American right to vote by expanding options to vote by mail or vote in person safely," Hirono said.

         Justification documents for the Emergency Ballot Act state that "Public health emergencies and natural disasters are occurring more frequently and create challenges to accessing the ballot box. This legislation would protect access to voting during the COVID-19 pandemic, and other natural disasters and public health emergencies in the future."
         The bill would, among other things:
         - Require states to provide 20 days of early in-person voting, and no-excuse absentee vote-by mail; and help ensure that states begin processing the votes cast 14 days before Election Day.
         - Allow all voters to request absentee ballots online, up to five days before Election Day, and allow states to have deadlines closer to Election Day.
         - Provide that absentee ballots postmarked or signed before the close of the polls on Election Day and received on or before the 10 days following Election Day are counted.
         - Require states and jurisdictions to establish publicly available contingency plans to ensure eligible Americans can vote during an emergency.
         - Help ensure that states provide self-sealing envelopes with prepaid postage for all voters who request a voter registration application, absentee ballot application, or an absentee ballot.
         - Reimburse states for costs associated with adding these additional measures.
        Other U.S. Senators supporting the bill include: Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.

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    PUBLIC AND CHARTER SCHOOLS REMAIN CLOSED through April 30. All traditional instruction is postponed until then. Enrichment opportunities, online resources, and instructions packets will be sent out by teachers and schools. Specific plans for the 10,000 graduates in the state are expected by the end of the week.


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    THE SUMMER OLYMPICS in Tokyo are postponed until Summer of 2021.

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    THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT to Hawaiʻi from a magnitude 7.8 earthquake just before , in the vicinity of the Kuril Islands. The island are between Japanand Russia, in the Sea of Okhotsk.

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    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Saturday, April 11, , host Kamehameha

    Saturday, April 18, , host Kohala

    Wednesday, April 22, , host HPA

    Wednesday, April 29, , BIIF Div II Semi Finals

    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Saturday, April 11, , host Kamehameha

    Saturday, April 18, , host Kohala

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Friday, April 10, , @Ehunui

    Friday, April 17, , host Kealakehe

    Wednesday, April 22, , @Waiakea

    Friday, April 24, , host HPA

    Monday, April 27, , BIIF Div II First Round

    Tuesday, April 28, , BIIF Div II Semi Finals

    Wednesday, April 29, , BIIF Div II Finals
    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, April 11, , BIIF at Kona
    Saturday, April 18, , BIIF at Hilo

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Saturday, April 11, , @Keaʻau
    Saturday, April 25, , @Keaʻau


    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Thursday, April 30 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    FRIDAY, MARCH 27
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

    SATURDAY, MARCH 28
    CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

    POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.

    CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

    CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 30
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

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    Takami Munnerlyn comes through a long line at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary today, where families picked up free breakfasts from 7:30 a.m to 8 a.m. and lunches from 11:30 a.m. to noon. The service for anyone 18 and younger will continue on Friday, after closing for Thursday's Prince Kuhio holiday. More than a hundred students received lunches today, the number soaring from the first day on Monday.
     See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
    BANK OF HAWAIʻI WILL KEEP ITS PĀHALA BRANCH OPEN FIVE DAYS A WEEK. Early this week, Bankoh named Pāhala as one of 40 of its 60 branches that would temporarily close during the pandemic. Today, the tellers wore aloha orchid lei, gifted from a patron who heard that Wednesday was their final day of service for now. By evening, Bank of Hawaiʻi had updated its website with news that Pāhala will be spared, with reduced hours of 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for kūpuna and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the general public.
         According to Bankoh's website, the Kaʻū Branch is one of only four remaining open on this island. The others are Kona Branch, Kaikoʻo Branch in Hilo, and Kamuela Branch in Waimea. All four will have the same reduced hours and early time for kūpuna. The Kaʻū Branch is located on Pikake Street next to the U.S. Post Office, Longs Drugs, two food stores, and Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School. See boh.com.

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    A community and visitor gathering at the ninth annual Kaʻū Coffee
    Festival, with local Halau Hula O Leionalani performing. The 12th annual
    event this May has been postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19
    situation. Photo by Jesse Tunison/Kaʻū Coffee Fest
    THE TWELFTH ANNUAL KAʻŪ COFFEE FESTIVAL IS POSTPONED, POSSIBLY CANCELLED. The message is posted on the Kaʻū Coffee Festival website. It says, "We are sad to announce that the 12th Annual Kaʻū Coffee Festival will not happen as originally planned in May of 2020. We are following the recommendations of the CDC relating to large gatherings in an effort to protect our community and kūpuna. Please check back to learn more about our plans as they develop. In the meantime, please take care of your health and enjoy Kaʻū coffee as often as possible. We promise it will brighten your day! A hui hou - The Kaʻū Coffee Festival Planning Committee."
         The festival was scheduled for ten days beginning May 8, and wrapping up with the annual Hoʻolauleʻa on May 16 and Kaʻū Coffee College on May 17. It included a kickoff dinner with music and hula at Pāhala Plantation House, a Harvest Dinner at Kaʻū Mountain Farm in Wood Valley, a Kaʻū Mountain Hike & Lunch at Kaʻū Coffee Milll, a Tour & Lunch at Kaʻū Valley Farms, Coffee & Cattle Day at Aikane Plantation, a Stargazing excursion from Kaʻū Cofffee Mill, the Kaʻū Coffee Experience for tasting local farmers' brew, and a full day of hula, music, food, and interacting with Kaʻū Coffee farmers and the larger community at Pāhala Community Center. The last day was set to be an educational event for Kaʻū Coffee farmers and coffee enthusiasts.
         The many funding sponsors include Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.
    See more sponsors and background at kaucoffeefestival.com

    Hawaiian Hoary Bat. Photo from NPS
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    COUNT OUR BATS TO SAVE OUR BATS was theme of the recent gathering of supporters for the Kaʻū Community Bat Monitoring Project held at Manuka State Park.
         About 25 Kaʻū residents took the opportunity to find out more about ʻōpeʻapeʻa, the endangered native Hawaiian hoary bat. The attendees socialized and shared a potluck barbecue organized by Linda Morgan and Sandy Demoruelle. Bat-related activities were provided for the keiki, and bat-themed treats were in abundance. Valuable door prizes went to a lucky few. Some bat enthusiasts enjoyed the sunset in the forest while others pored over books in the new organization's library.
         "The Kaʻū Community Bat Monitoring Project is a five-year community-based pilot project to train and empower Kaʻū citizen-scientists by encouraging them to count bats and save bats through research and advocacy," wrote Morgan in a handout.
         Morgan noted that bats are mentioned in the Kaʻū Community Development Plan, including the need for the community to monitor bats and take action to ensure the future of this endangered species. She said that the new organization aims to count bats. It also plans to give input to the mitigation process, adopted by the state and federal government with funding from the Tawhiri windmill company at South Point where bats can die when flying into windmill blades. Since the Hawaiian hoary bats are an endangered species, activities that unintentionally lead to their harm and deaths require a permit and a mitigation effort.
    Endangered native Hawaiian Hoary Bat enthusiasts plan to count bats and
    monitor government plans to restore their habitat and reduce interaction
    with windmills. Photo from Kaʻū Community Bat Monitoring Project
         A federal and state permit was issued to Tawhiri in September 2019 to allow for an estimated number of deaths over the next ten years. The estimates are 2.6 bat deaths per year, .33 Hawaiian goose (nēnē) deaths per year, and .33 petrel (ʻuaʻu) deaths per year.
         In compliance with its permit, Tawhiri committed to providing some $2.4 million over ten years to improve habitats for the bat, goose, and petrel.
         The funding will be used by U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. Organizers of the Bat Monitoring Project said its group is a 501C and also will seek funding for its bat education and counting projects.
         Tawhiri itself committed to reduce the deaths of bats and birds at its 111-acre site off Kamaʻoa Road with year-round low wind speed curtailment during sunset and sunrise, lighting direction and reduction, removing any standing water that may attract the three species, a 25-mph speed limit, and avoiding use of barbed wire.
         Pakini Nui has been in operation since April 2007. The facility has the capacity to produce of 20.5 megawatts of power, using 14 turbine generators, each equipped with 70-meter rotors.
    Bat brownies were served at the first meeting of the bat enthusiasts.
    Photo from Kaʻū Community Bat Monitoring Project
         One mitigation project is forest restoration of at least 1,200 acres of degraded, ‘ōhiʻa forest in the Kahuku Unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in order to provide more habitat for the bats. Another funds the DLNR to construct a new seven-acre predatory-proof nēnē breading area. Another assists with management of a petrel colony, with fencing within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
         For more on the Kaʻū Community Bat Monitoring Project, contact Morgan at lindainhawaii65@gmail.com.

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    A $2 TRILLION FEDERAL SPENDING PACKAGE PASSED the U.S. Senate late Wednesday. It includes cash payments to Americans and extended unemployment to gig economy workers, freelancers, and employees who are furloughed. It would provide credit to industries. It is the largest economic rescue bill in U.S. history. The bill goes to the House and, if passed, to the desk of Pres. Donald Trump.

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    PHYSICIAN AND LT. GOV. JOSH GREEN AND U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD led a town hall meeting today by phone to update the public and answer questions on the COVID-19 pandemic. Gabbard noted that she called for a nation-wide shelter-in-place order and co-wrote a letter to the President emphasizing the urgent need for protective gear for healthcare workers. She said $750,000 is already going to 14 health care centers across the islands.
    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Lt. Gov. Josh Green, at the 2018
    Unity Breakfast after the election. HPR photo 
         Green gave an update on the latest public health status and strongly urged individuals to respect the stay-at-home guidance being issued. He said that the greater restrictions on travel to and from the state may help significantly hamper the spread of the virus. He also helped address questions about the differences between the novel coronavirus and influenza, as well as how the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads. Listen to the Telephone Town Hall.

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    A DISASTER AND EMERGENCY PRICING ACT was introduced today by U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono, Amy Klobuchar, and colleagues. The bill would prevent price gouging on essential services or goods during catastrophes. The bill would prohibit the sale of goods or services at overly inflated prices before or during a natural disaster, pandemic, or state of emergency, and allow the Federal Trade Commission to take legal action against sellers that try to take advantage of consumers during such crises.
         Hirono said, "We are in a national emergency, with people's resources stretched thin. It is simply unacceptable for people and companies to try to profit on the backs of consumers in dire need through sky-high prices on essential goods and services. The Disaster and Emergency Pricing Abuse Prevention Act would put an end to this practice now and in the event of future emergencies by ensuring consumers pay fair prices on essentials." The bill would allow for potential civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation.

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    Free lunches soared to more than 100 today for anyone 18 and younger at the Pāhala school campus. Photo by Julia Neal
    FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH LINES FOR KEIKI are growing at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School. The number of people served lunch who are 18 and under soared from 45 on Monday to over 100 today. Breakfasts are handed out to walk-ups and drivers with keiki in their vehicles from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays. Lunches are handed out from 11:30 a.m. to noon on weekdays. However, tomorrow, Thursday, is the Prince Kuhio state holiday and the food service from the cafeteria will resume on Friday. It is sponsored by the state Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where students qualify for free nutrition on the campus.

    Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.m.

    ADDRESSING FOOD SECURITY during the COVID-19 pandemic is an aim of Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United. The organization announced that it has launched a task force to quickly organize local food production; aggregate existing food hubs; collaborate with certified commercial kitchens, door-to-door distributors and other stakeholders; and to immediately address the economic impact of food sustainability from the global crisis.

         The task force is developing a 12 to 24 month plan for immediately supporting agricultural communities and plans to help double local food production. The plan is to aggregate food across islands into food hubs and commercial kitchens, where it will be sorted into community-supported agriculture boxes of fresh vegetables, fruit, and immune-boosting herbs. Partnering with food entrepreneurs such as chefs, caterers, and other prepared foods businesses, it will prepare family-style dishes and work with current distribution channels, including door-to-door delivery businesses.

         HFUU's members include existing operators of food hubs across the state, including the oldest known food hub in Hawaiʻi.  Data from the recent Food Hub Pilot Program – conducted by Saleh Azizi PhD, UH – states that eight existing food hubs statewide have successfully served all Department of Education schools, seven hospitals, and over 200 restaurants, with food coming from 660 small-to-medium farms with $2.7M in annual revenue. Food value chain members such as the PacificGatewayCenter, the largest commercial kitchen in the state, and distribution channels with farmers' markets and retail/restaurant outlets, are "critical to its success," according to Hawaiʻi Farmers Union.

         State Sen. Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture & Environment is a Farmers Union member. He said, "In our worst fears, where global economic recession coupled with a global pandemic, is at our doorstep, and our island community is just days away from a food shortage, now is the time for action."

         Hawaiʻi is home to 7,328 farms, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 2017 Ag census. Of the total farms, 6,561 (89 percent) are under 50 acres; 4,868 (66 percent) are under 9 acres; and 5,826 (78 percent) are family-run. HFUU is the largest statewide membership of family farming operations in Hawaiʻi, comprising 1,400 members across 13 chapters, including Kaʻū.

         Vincent Mina, state president, HFUU, said, "We exhibit the essential effectiveness of our local food systems here in Hawaiʻi, as a global example of how agricultural communities collaborate and cooperate with one another along with partnering with leaders nationally."

         HFUU is asking for community collaboration from farmers that want to sell to food hubs, as well as increase production; businesses that have commercial refrigeration; restaurants and other food entrepreneurs who want to utilize a ghost kitchen model to prepare family-style meals; logistics and food delivery organizations that can move fresh produce boxes; and others such as seed networks, funding organizations, food banks, schools, and healthcare providers.
         For more information, to join the task force and to collaborate, email food@hfuuhi.org.

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    HAWAIʻI POLICE SERVICES, INCLUDING DISPATCH, POLICE REPORTS, TRAFFIC REPORTS, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, AND FIREARMS REGISTRATION, remain operational.
         Regarding police reports, records offices are closed to the public. Staff will answer questions, and accept and process requests for copies of police reports, which will be distributed by mail. To order a copy of a report or ask questions about a report, call (808) 961-2233. Police report requests can also be made through the Kaʻū district police station at (808) 939-2520.

         Applications for Permits to Acquire and Firearms Registration services Island-wide remain open and will be conducted by appointment only. To schedule an appointment in Hilo, call (808) 961-2233; in Kona, call (808) 326-4646 (ex 222). To schedule an appointment at the Kaʻū station, call (808) 939-2520.

         Traffic Services Section is closed to the public, but staff is available at (808) 961-2227. Driver's License Services are overseen by the Finance Department and not affected by these closures.

         Dispatch and the 911 system, as well as Patrol and Criminal Investigation Divisions services, continue normal operations. Call Major Samuel Jelsma of the HPD Administrative Division at (808) 961-2265 with questions.


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    AUTHORS AND POTENTIAL ATTENDEES of Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance's Ola Ka ʻĀina Momona: Managing for Abundance international conservation conference have until Friday, April 3, to complete a survey on how best to proceed with conference planning for 2020. Planned for Monday, Aug. 31 through Thursday, Sept. 3 in Honolulu, the organizers are exploring options for an in-person or virtual conference. The Alliance and the Society for Conservation Biology-Oceania plan to work on a joint conference for the Pacific conservation community in 2021. Learn more at hawaiiconservation.org.

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    HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HAS CLOSED ITS RESTORES temporarily, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Habitat has helped families become homeowners in Kaʻū and beyond, through family sweat equity and the organization's guidance and fundraising. Habitat operates ReStores to sell donated construction materials, furniture, and other items in Hilo, Kamuela, and Kona. A statement today says, "In order to do our part to support the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, partners and community, our ReStores and office are 'temporarily closed' effective today. Share the love with your family, friends, and neighbors, and we will get through this crisis together. If you are able, please continue to support us. We look forward to serving our beautiful island community soon." See habitathawaiiisland.org.

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    Learning how to make a lei in the Park during Merrie Monarch week 
    will have to wait until next year. NPS photo

    ALL HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK EVENTS for April are cancelled. These events include National Park Week, April 18 through 2

    6; Kahuku Coffee Talk: The Recovery of the Kaʻū Silverswords on Friday, April 24; and a Huewai Demonstration on Wednesday, April 8.
         Also cancelled are special Merrie Monarch Festival activities on Thursday, April 16, including learning to weave lau hala, make leis, and enjoy local music.

         Stewardship of Kīpukapuaulu on Thursdays and Stewardship at the Summit on April 4, 11, 18, and 24, when volunteers help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in the Park, are cancelled.

         Ka‘ū actor-director Dick Hershberger will place a hold on bringing the renowned founder of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to life in A Walk into the Past with Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, normally held Tuesdays at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m.

         Kahuku Unit, the free Park location in Kaʻū, is closed to all visitors.

    Experiencing living history at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with Actor Dick Hershberger, who brings the 
    renowned geologist and founder of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to life, is postponed until at least May.
    NPS photo/Janice Wei
    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    WATCH FOR MORE SCAMS during the COVID-19 pandemic, warns Hawaiian Electric. The utility sent out a statement today, stating that it is important to "remain calm as scammers are still actively trying to steal personal and financial information, and they are taking advantage of the pandemic to target customers who are stressed and panicking."
         The utility said the state recommends watching for fraudulent emails claiming to be from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. Verify information through trusted government websites such as www.ftc.govwww.cdc.govhealth.hawaii.govwww.who.int, etc. Do not click on links from sources you do not know as doing so may lead to computer viruses or phishing attempts. Ignore offers of goods or services for COVID-19. "There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19. Scammers may still offer fake vaccines and other bogus medical products claiming to offer 'cures' for the virus. They may also offer 'get rich quick' investment schemes for unproven virus treatments," states the utility.
         Hawaiian Electric also recommends being wary of fundraising solicitations. "Do not rush into making donations whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. You should never feel rushed or pressured to donate, and never make donations in cash, by gift card, or by money wire. Be sure to do your due diligence to verify the charity's legitimacy."
         The government advises against revealing personal or financial information in email, and recommends disregarding email solicitations requesting this information. Read the full release at http://hwnelec.co/Z1s750yTqlU.


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    BOTH LANES OF HWY 11 were closed this afternoon due to a downed tree at the 70 mile marker, near South Point Road. HPD states it took about an hour for highway crews to clear the tree, which was across both lanes. South Point Road remained accessible from the Nāʻālehu side.

         Shortly after that tree was cleared, another tree, plus downed power lines, closed Hwy 11 near the 68 mile mark, causing police to establish a detour through Kamaʻoa Road. Clearing the highway for traffic again took about two hours.


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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:

         Hawaiʻi today remained one of a dozen U.S. states with no deaths  from COVID-19. The state Department of Health reports five cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island as of today, March 25. None are new since yesterday. Two are locals who caught the virus elsewhere. Three are non-residents.

         Throughout the state, there are 95 confirmed cases – six reported since yesterday – with five requiring hospitalization. There have been zero deaths from COVID-19 in the state.
         According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has recorded 51,914 cases, including 9,750 reported today. There are 673 deaths, 202 reported today. Worldwide, more than 414,179 people have become victims of COVID-19, with 40,712 reported today. The death toll is 18,440, with 2,202 reported today. Check the number of cases and deaths by date and by state.


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    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:

    Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule

    Girls Softball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Wednesday, April 8, , @Honokaʻa

    Saturday, April 11, , host Kamehameha
    Boys Baseball Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , host Hilo

    Tuesday. April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Saturday, April 11, , host Kamehameha

    Boys Volleyball Cancelled

    Tuesday, March 31, , @Kohala

    Thursday, April 2, , host Keaʻau

    Tuesday, April 7, , @Honokaʻa

    Friday, April 10, , @Ehunui

    Judo Cancelled

    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @Keaʻau

    Saturday, April 11, , BIIF at Kona
    Saturday, April 18, , BIIF at Hilo

    Track Cancelled
    Saturday, March 28, , @Waiakea

    Saturday, April 4, , @HPA

    Saturday, April 11, , @Keaʻau

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Thursday, April 30 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    UPCOMING
    FRIDAY, MARCH 27
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

    SATURDAY, MARCH 28
    CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

    POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.

    CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

    CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 30
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

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    Matson says it is well prepared to continue shipping essential goods to Hawaiʻi. It christened this cargo
     ship last year in San Diego, and gave it the name Luraline. Photo from Matson
    MATSON, YOUNG BROTHERS AND PASHA, the main ocean carriers of food, goods and vehicles to Hawaiʻi, all promise to continue shipping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
        The message from Matson, the shipping company founded in 1882, says it "is committed to taking all appropriate steps to ensure the continuation of services, including the deployment of reserve vessels if necessary, to continue meeting the needs of our customers and communities. We are monitoring developments closely and ensuring compliance with all United States Coast Guard and local, federal, and international government reporting and prevention directives at sea and ashore."
    Aloha served daily is a slogan of Young Brothers.
    Photo from Young Brothers
         The U.S. Department of Homeland Security deems Matson's operations and services as essential as stated by the Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response. Matson delivers to Hawaiʻi, Guam, Micronesia, and the South Pacific.
         Much of its cargo is loaded in California where the stay-at-home executive order does not affect its operations. For American Samoa, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, and Niue, Matson often picks up freight in New Zealand, where its services are considered essential for supporting critical transportation infrastructure to the South Pacific. Matson also ships between the West Coast and Hawaiʻi.
         A moving message across the top of Matson's website says, "Service scheduled unaffected by COVID-19. See matson.com. Remain in frequent and regular communication with the United States Coast Guard and the port authorities throughout our Pacific network regarding commercial port operations in the interest of maintaining all our services and the continued reliable flow of goods to our communities."
    Young Brothers will continue bringing essential goods between the
    islands. Photo from Young Brothers
         Young Brothers has reduced the types of cargo it will ship interisland. Starting on March 30, Young Bros. will turn away nonessential privately-owned vehicles, dry mixed cargo, and less than a container load of livestock. It will accept, food, water, and other household consumer products for retail stores; all household consumer products; medical supplies and equipment for hospital and to care for those in need; educational supplies; first responder vehicles; public utilities vehicles and equipment; and construction supplies and equipment. Dry and refrigerated full containers will be shipped.
         Anyone picking up cargo at the Hilo or Kawaihae ports must follow a new statewide protocol: Enter the port facilities with vehicle windows rolled up and hold TWIC ID or driver's license against the window for the security officers to view through the glass. Maintain the recommended six-feet of distance from others and refrain from congregating. Remain in vehicle at all times while delivering or receiving cargo. Wait to be directed by a YB employee to roll down window and/or to exit vehicle to handle cargo. For more information and regular updates regarding YB operations and COVID-19, visit youngbrothershawaii.com/covid-19.
    Pasha shipping company promised this week to help fill the shelves of Hawaiʻi stores again.
    Photo from Pasha
         Pasha Hawai’i, the shipping line that brings in Costco goods, promises to keep its schedule carrying big containers. Sr. Vice President Mike Caswell told KITV news this week, "We are the lifeline of the islands and we want everybody to be aloha out there and live aloha and understand that the shelves might be empty right now – people are trying to prepare and stock up – but as you can see we're moving. We are going to fill the shelves again we just want to ensure the people not to panic and cargo is still flowing." On Hawaiʻi Island, Pasha serves Hilo and Kawaihae. See pashahawaii.com.
    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


    CONTINUOUS LEARNING PACKETS AND ACTIVITIES will be available for Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary students on Monday, March 30 via the schoolwebsite. A message from Principal Sharon Beck states that elementary teachers will contact parents to determine the best way to deliver packets and learning activities, and that many middle school and high school teachers will use Google Classroom to communicate with their students.

         "Please encourage them to check in on their school Google accounts often," requests Beck. "As many teachers will be using internet resources as part of these packets, we are trying to determine which students have computers and internet access at home. If your student has limitations accessing the internet or may need a capable device, please call the school as soon as possible at 808-313-4100.

         "Please note that the work packets are primarily meant for enrichment purposes and to promote retention of previously learned skills. However, teachers will be providing feedback on work which is returned and graded content may be submitted depending on individual student and teacher agreements."

         Beck said that school staff may be calling soon and throughout the weeks to clarify class packets and answer questions from parents and students. Calls may come in via Google Voice, so phone numbers may show up as unidentified on caller ID.

         The school campus will remain closed through Thursday, April 30. The campus will only be open for daily community meal services for children 18 and under from  through  for breakfast and  through  for lunch, on weekdays.

         For the most up to date continuous learning information, see KHPES.org or the Department of Education's Continuity of Education website, sites.google.com/k12.hi.us/resources-student-parent/home for more student and parent resources.

         Said Beck, "Thank you for your ongoing patience as we navigate our school's response to COVID-19. Please know that the health and safety of our students is a top priority… Mahalo for your continued support. Please stay safe and healthy."

    The campus of Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary is closed to all activity except meal pickups on weekdays,
    7:30 a.m.to 8 a.m. for breakfast and 11:30 p.m. to noon for lunch, for those 18 and younger. KHPES photo 


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    RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION, Hawaiʻi's Attorney General, Claire Connors, has joined 27 other attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to provide federal student loan borrowers with crucial emergency measures. In a letter to the Education Secretary, the coalition asks the DOE to take steps to "protect borrowers from further financial burden and debt collection due to job losses and lost wages."


    THE NATURE CONSERVANCY LAUNCHED NATURE LAB TODAY, an educational and entertainment site to help children stay busy when isolated during the pandemic. The Nature Conservancy operates its Hawaiʻi Island headquarters in Kaʻū.

         Nature Lab is a new online learning platform, created by TNC and its 550 scientists. The platform is designed to "help students learn the science behind how nature works for us, and how we can help keep it running strong." A message from the organization states: "More than 850 million children and youth – roughly half of the world's student population – have to stay away from schools and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While students can't travel the world right now, they can still develop great passion and knowledge about the world through high-quality classroom content."

         Kate Ireland, director of Youth Engagement Programs at The Nature Conservancy, said, "As schools around the world shut down to in response to COVID-19 and parents work to balance the demands on their time and energy, we know that students will have very different learning experiences over the next few months. I'm proud that The Nature Conservancy, with our newly relaunched Nature Lab curriculum, can offer families some support and open up new worlds for young people."

         A variety of age appropriate courses are available for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12, plus bonus Virtual Field Trips such as The Secret Life of CoralsBorneo: The Symphony of the Rainforest, and more. Nature Lab features a free curriculum and engaging videos that can be viewed on computers, tablets, and computers.

         To learn more about Nature Lab and other youth engagement opportunities offered by The Nature Conservancy visit nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/youth-engagement.


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    Gov. David Ige at a press conference today.
    Photo from KHON
    GOV. DAVID IGE JOINED WITH LT. GOV. AND PHYSICIAN JOSH GREEN in an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Today is the first day of the governor's mandate for anyone arriving in Hawaiʻi to quarantine for 14 days. The governor reported that arrivals by air are down from 30,000 a day to about 4,000 a day, and said he hopes this will help prevent an overwhelming increase in COVID-19. Today's report shows 106 cases so far, with 5 on Hawaiʻi Island.

         Green commended the governor for the home-quarantine directive to all persons in Hawaiʻi, which began on Tuesday. Green called it a bold move that will "absolutely save lives." Green talked about his own survey of health care centers to see what they need if there should be a surge in the need for hospital care. "Everyone is putting into place an important process so if we do get – when we do get – a surge of COVID-19  cases that require intensive care, they will be ready to save lives of our kūpuna or anyone who is sick." He said earlier that at HiloMedicalCenter, surgery suites, and clinics could be made into hospital rooms, if necessary.

         Green said the biggest concern is locating more ventilators and personal protection  equipment for health workers. He also talked about hospital beds. Green reported that state of Hawaii has 3,031 licensed hospital beds. The average daily census is 1,970, about 65 to 67 percent. "We can surge that capacity by about 15 percent, another 500 beds." He also reported a count statewide of 328 intensive care beds, 204 negative pressure isolation beds, and 431 to 560 ventilators, depending on what is in supply and activated.

    Lt. Gov. Josh Green at a press conference today.
    Photo from KHON
         He said that Adjudant General Kenneth Hara, who is commander for the state in the COVID-19 battle, could activate military field hospitals.


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    TO ADDRESS THE "VERY SERIOUS SITUATION" OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, Lt. Gov. Josh Green participated in a video meeting with Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday. "We absolutely, absolutely must isolate at home for this period of time" and socially distance, despite how "painful" it is, said Green. He explained that the only way to defend against a novel virus, to which there is no human immunity, is to prevent the spread between people.

         Green told the council that he is working with Kenneth Hara, Adjutant General for the State of Hawaiʻi's Department of Defense, to plan for military assistance, including bringing in supplies and providing field hospitals. 

         Green said he spent the past three weeks speaking with the healthcare community and visiting facilities around the state, including five major hospitals and about 200 providers. He meets twice weekly with healthcare representatives as part of the COVID-19 Healthcare Task Force.

         Green explained to the County Council that the "shortage of health care providers and health care facilities" is worse on Hawaiʻi Island than Oʻahu. "The state has about a 22 percent shortage of healthcare providers across all disciplines; Big Island has a 40 percent shortage of healthcare providers." He said that five of every hundred people who contract COVID-19 "end up in serious condition and need serious hospital support – it will flood the hospitals and overwhelm them just like that, if we have a big surge."

         Green said if 40 percent of Hawaiʻi's 1.4 million population were to contract COVID-19, 25,000 people would need "serious care in the critical care capacity with ICU beds. We would have to choose who to give care to. Whether some people would get ICU beds and some wouldn't. Some get ventilators. Some don't. Some get that breathing tube. That's what I'm speaking about. So the necessary choice to slow down the virus, to do home quarantine, total isolation."

         Watch the video here.


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    MANDATORY 14-DAY QUARANTINE of all people coming in from out-of-state, residents and visitors, began Thursday. The governor's office reports initial data indicate incoming airport traffic was "light, as expected, and that the process on this first day of the mandatory order, for the most part, went smoothly." Department of Transportation reported, "Some planes are arriving with fewer than 10 passengers. Some flights had no passengers or only one." Hawai‘i Tourism Authority staff members are assisting DOT in collecting, processing, and scanning traveler forms. Hotels are being alerted before visitors arrive. The majority of the passengers so far are either returning Hawaiʻi residents or catching connecting flights.

         Regarding the directive that everyone stay at home, the state Department of Health is asking residents to make only measured purchases in order to ensure that everyone can acquire needed supplies. DOH has also transitioned vital records to online only, and now requires an appointment to acquire a marriage license.

         In another health related matter, the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation reopened all restrooms in state small boat harbors and boat ramps. This is in response to Centers of Disease Control & Prevention guidelines for "ensuring availability of toilets and hand washing facilities for people experiencing homelessness." The Division of State Parks will be opening a comfort station at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on Hawaiʻi Island and at Sand Island State Recreation Area on Oʻahu. 


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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:

         The state Department of Health reports five cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island as of today, March 26. None are new since yesterday. Two are locals who caught the virus elsewhere. Three are non-residents.

         Throughout the state, there are 106 presumptive positive or confirmed cases, with 11 reported today. Hawaiʻi residents make up 86 of the cases. There have been zero deaths from COVID-19 in the state. There are several possible community spread cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.

         Today, the U.S. surpassed all other countries in the world in COVID-19 cases. According to JohnsHopkinsUniversity, the U.S. has recorded 85,991 cases and 1,296 deaths from the virus.

         Worldwide, more than 533,416 people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is 24,110.


    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of April.



    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled through the end of April.


    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.


    UPCOMING
    FRIDAY, MARCH 27
    CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

    CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

    SATURDAY, MARCH 28
    CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

    POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.

    CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

    CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    MONDAY, MARCH 30
    CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

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    Shai Lopez, at Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary, signals the cafeteria to prepare one lunch for the one child in the vehicle. Grab & Go free food service begins at Na`alehu on April 6 and continues in Pahala on Mondays through Fridays during the pandemic.  See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
    THE TWO TRILLION DOLLAR COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE, passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and signed into law today by Pres. Donald Trump, drew a statement from Kaʻū 's congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She commented on the pandemic that has most Hawaiʻiand mainland people staying at home, most businesses and public places closed, and a mounting number of deaths across the mainland, as the U.S. becomes the country with the most COVID-19 cases.
           Gabbard wrote, "I pray this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Never before has it been so starkly undeniable that our fates as individuals, as nations, and as a world are inseparable. It will take all of us working together to defeat this global pandemic, relying on the very best of humanity to shine through and connect and unite us at a time when it would be just as easy to succumb to fear, isolation, and destructive division.
          "With that in mind, I want to take a moment now to first and foremost urge you to take — and to encourage your friends, neighbors and family to also take — all the necessary preventative precautions required to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Also, here is some information you can share about new measures Congress just passed that will provide some relief to those who need it most while we continue to address the growing challenges the pandemic poses to our health, safety, and economy.
          Gabbard wrote, "I am deeply inspired by and grateful for the countless examples of service above self — the abundance of courage, compassion, and strength — that I see every day as Americans step up to take care of each other despite fear and uncertainty:
         "Our heroic front line healthcare workers who are leaving their families behind every day, often self-quarantining from their own spouses and children, to put their lives on the line to test and treat strangers they swore an oath to serve.
         "My fellow service members in the National Guard who are activating and serving in their home states across the country to meet this new threat head-on. The essential service workers feeding our nation, delivering and producing essential goods, reinventing their businesses to keep us fit and healthy online.
    See the video at tulsi.to/covid-19
         "Your neighbors and friends who are volunteering online, delivering groceries and picking up prescriptions for vulnerable members of the community who cannot. People giving blood, and those donating money to organizations helping those who have been hit hardest by this crisis. Parents keeping their children safe. The care providers looking after our most at-risk populations. There is no shortage of people demonstrating the spirit of aloha, and the immense ingenuity and strength of our nation and the American people. We need to keep it up.
         "Far too much of the existing concern around COVID-19's impact in the media and by our government leaders has been focused on bailing out the big end of town, making the same old tired trickle-down arguments we've seen time and time again. The American people don't have time to wait for relief, they need it now to make ends meet. I am continuing to urge my colleagues to remain focused on what we can do now to serve the American people. Now is not the time for politics; now is the time for leaders to step up and stand together.
         "The coming weeks and months will test all of us — but I have great faith that when We, The People, work side-by-side with compassion, love, and strength, we can accomplish anything. We can defeat this virus and come out not only stronger, but more compassionate, empathetic and connected as a nation and a world than ever before." She signs off,   "With hope and determination."

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    SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ COMMENTED ON THE FEDERAL RESCUE PACKAGE:  "The vast majority of the spending in the bill is for small business, unemployment insurance, cash payments, essential services, and front line health care. And the desperate people I hear from back home are happy it passed.
         "Good Stuff in the Bill: More than $130 billion for hospitals, nursing homes, health care centers; personal and protective equipment for health care workers; testing supplies; increased workforce, training, and medical research; new construction to house patients. $350 billion in partially forgivable loans to small businesses and non-profits to maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities; $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs; and $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans."

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    St. Jude's hosts free food distribution Friday in Ocean View.
    Photo from St. Jude's  Episcopal Church
    FREE FOOD DISTRIBUTION IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS FRIDAY March 28 at St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. The drive through will begin at 9 a.m. in the lower church parking lot. According to a message from a church member, celebrity chef Sam Choy will provide vegetables. Oranges will also be distributed. "Please contact those who may be homebound or otherwise unable to drive to this location so arrangements can be made for them to get food they may need," says the message.
          St. Jude's put its soup and shower program on hold recently, with health concerns during the
    COVID-19 pandemic, but is providing lunch sacks with sandwiches, fruit, cookie and a napkin on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to the community that depends on the church for nutrition.
         Church services have gone online. See st.judeshawaii.org. The church motto is ,"Where Jesus talk is a Daily Walk." The church is located at 92-8606 Paradise Circle in Ocean View.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    NA`ALEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEARNING PACKETS and student resources can be picked up at distribution spots throughout Kaʻū on Monday, March 30. They are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
         One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home. Supplies will be given out simultaneously.
            Distribution in the Na`alehu area will be at Na`alehu Elementary, Waiohinu, and Discovery Harbour Community Center. Distribution in Ocean View will be at the county's Kahuku Park, the area in front of Malama Market, and Ocean View Community Center.        
            At Nāʻālehu Elementary, campus pick-up will be from 9 a.m - 9:20 a.m. for A-H; 9:20 a.m. -9:40 a.m. for I-P and 9:40-10 a.m. for Q-Z. 
           The Waiohinu pick-up: 8 a.m. -8:20 a.m. for A-H; 8:20 a.m. -8:40 a.m. for I-P; and 8:40 a.m. -9 a.m. for Q-Z.
       The Discovery Harbour Community Center pick-up: 9:30-9:50 a.m. for A-H; 9:50-10:10 for I-H; and 10:10-10:30 for Q-Z.
            Morning distribution at  Kahuku Park:  8 a.m. - 8:20 a.m. for last names A-H;  8:20 a.m. -8:40 a.m. for last names I-P ; and 8:40 a.m. -9 a.m. for last names Q-Z. 
    Nāʻālehu Elementary families can pick up a personal
     bag of school resources and learning packets
     for each enrolled student on Monday, March 30. 
    See story for designated times and sites. 
    Photo by Sheilah Okimoto

           Evening distribution at Kahuku Park: 5 p.m. -5:20 p.m. for A-H, 5:20 p.m.-5:40 p.m. for I-P, and 5:40 p.m. -6 p.m. for Q-Z.        
          Times for distribution in front of Malama Market are:  9:30-9:50 a.m. for A-H; 9:50 a.m. - 10:10  a.m. for I-H; and 10:10 a.m. -10:30 a.m. for Q-Z.  
          Times for distribution at Ocean View Community Center are from  5 p.m. -5:20 p.m. for A-H; 5:20 p.m. -5:40 p.m. for I-P; and 5:40 p.m. -6 p.m. for Q-Z.   
         Learning packets may be picked up from these distribution sites every two weeks.  Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying 6 feet away from others during pick-up. 
          See the school website at http://naalehuel.hidoe.us for more information and updates.

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    GRAB & GO FREE FOOD FOR YOUTH BEGINS AT NA`ALEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL on Monday, April 6, with a drive-through. Principal Darlene Javar reports that Nāʻālehu Elementary, designated as a Department of Education free feeding site, will give meals to anyone 18 years-old or younger. Breakfast can be picked up at the school between 7:30-8 a.m. and lunch picked up between 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.  The child must be present on site to receive a meal.  Only one breakfast and one lunch will be distributed per child. Participants are asked to observe social distancing rules and
    remain six feet apart.
         Grab & Go continues at Kaʻū  High & Pahala Elementary School this Monday with the same schedule. The free food is for anyone 18 years and younger. The meals are hot and fresh. Meals are provided only to those youth who arrive in a vehicle or walk up to the distribution site.
         The service, sponsored by the state Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is prepared by the staff of each school cafeteria. The goal is to keep the children well fed while the campuses are closed to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students depend on free breakfasts and lunches for their nutrition when the schools are open.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.
                                                                                             
    The Food Basket plans to return to Ka`u District Gym on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. See more below.
    Photo by Julia Neal
    THE FOOD BASKET PLANS TO RETURN TO KAʻŪ in a month, on April 28 at 10 a.m in the parking lot of Kaʻū  District Gym. Fresh vegetables, milk, eggs and more were handed out to the first delivery of 14 days of free food on March 24. Families drive through the distribution area where volunteers record the number of family members being served and provide the appropriate amount of food by placing it in each vehicle. A Food Basket distribution is tentatively planned for late April in Volcano.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.co

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE: The state Department of Health reports seven cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island as of today, March 27. Two are new since yesterday.

         Throughout the state, there are 122 presumptive positive or confirmed cases, with 16 reported today.  There have been zero deaths from COVID-19 in the state. There are several possible community spread cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.

          U.S. surpassed all other countries in COVID-19 cases on Thursday. According  to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded 104,837 cases.

         Worldwide, more than 598,245 people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is 27,762.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of April.


    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled through the end of April.

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.


    UPCOMING
    SATURDAY, MARCH 28
    CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

    POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.

    CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

    CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

    ONGOING
    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.



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    Jeff and Claudia McCall will sell their fresh produce Sunday at Volcanoes Farmers Market at Cooper Center. See more
    on McCalls and other Kaʻū and Volcano food providers in this and upcoming Kaʻū News BriefsPhoto by Julia Neal
    VOLCANO FARMERS MARKET will open as usual on Sunday morning at Cooper Center on Wright Road. Farmer Jeff McCall noted that without non-food vendors, food producers will have more space for social distancing. He said farmers and other food providers are making adjustments to the number of customers coming to their stations. Volcano Farmers Market is open from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. 
    Volcano Farmers Market at Cooper Center on Sunday morning
    will offer food and social distancing. Photo by Julia Neal
    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    MANY KAʻŪ AND VOLCANO RESIDENTS ARE ON THE FRONT LINE of keeping food on tables and basic services going during the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers and ranchers, restaurateurs, food and pharmacy retailers, health care providers, bank and credit union employees, educators, and workers who provide water, electrical, phone, internet, transportation, media, and police services are among them. These people are considered essential under county, state, and federal directives during the pandemic, and are allowed to work outside their homes with safe practices. See more on these people and their services in this and upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs.
    Ulu Kaʻū Farm produce.
    Photo from Ulu Kaʻū Farm
         In the Nāʻālehu area, Kuahiwi Ranch Store continues to sell locally raised beef, and ranching and farm supplies directly to the public at 95-5520 Mamālahoa Hwy. Among the offerings are grass fed and grain finished beef, and feed for cattle, horses, pigs, dogs, and chickens, with chicks coming soon. Hours are Monday - Friday, to Call 929-7333.

         Riley Ranch near the police station in Nāʻālehu offers lettuce, kale, chard, arugula, bok choy, salad mix, green onion, and other veggies. Call Amanda and Bryan Riley at 661-619-3601.

         Crooked C Ranch off South Point Road sells papaya, spinach, grass and orange fed beef, oranges, honey, eggs, bananas, and green bell peppers. See Facebook and Instagram. Call or text Elizabeth and Josh Crook at 808-345-0511.

         Ulu Kaʻū Farm, formerly known as Kaʻū Valley Farm, is open on Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., selling pumpkin, eggplant, papaya, lemons, limes, oranges, bananas, avocados, radishes, jicama, tomatoes, broccoli, turmeric, turnips, lettuce, green beans, green onions, squash, and more. Bring shopping bags. Social distance, along with face masks and gloves, will be practiced at the farm stand, 95-1178 Kaʻalaʻiki Road above Nāʻālehu. See ulukauhawaii.com or Facebook. Call 929-7900.

         Paradise Meadows Orchard and Bee Farm operates a farm stand from to :30 p.m., seven days a week, less than a mile from Hwy 11, at 93-2199 South Point Road. Offered are honey, macadamia nuts, Kaʻū Coffee, and seasonally: avocados, lemons, water cress, papaya, banana, and kale. See paradisemeadows.com, Facebook, or call 929-9148.

         Another source of food in the Nāʻālehu area is Rollman Family Salmon. Trevor and Adria Rollman spend time between Alaska and Kaʻū and market their catch as a family affair. They offer fillets, smoked, and whole fish. Contact them for fish through Facebook or at 907-632-8664.

    Rollman Family Salmon offers fresh wild Alaska Salmon from their home in Kaʻū and on the road.
    See their FacebookPhoto from Rollman Family Salmon
         Bee Boys in Nāʻālehu Shopping Center is open Monday – Saturday, to , with a pass-through window open for those who prefer not to enter the store. Call 808-215-0292. Bee Boys also sells online with free shipping to anywhere in the country during the pandemic. The company sells its products made from honey produced by its own hives. It also sources Kaʻū-grown lilikoi from Waiʻōhinu, Kaʻū Coffee, turmeric, and mamake, guava leaf, and other local teas. Before the pandemic, Bee Boys sent its products to farmers markets around the island. Now most are closed.


    The Bee Boys is offering free shipping throughout the country for its products, available online and at
    its store in Nāʻālehu Shopping Center, open Monday through Saturday. Photo from Bee Boys
        Will & Grace Filipino Variety Store in Nāʻālehu Shopping Center remains open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Its array of fresh foods includes produce from backyard farmers in Kaʻū and its own award winning Rising Sun Kaʻū Coffee. Call 929-9993

     or 808-557-4441.
         ACE Hardware in Nāʻālehu remains open , Monday - Saturday, and  to on Sundays. Employees said that backyard food growing appears to have increased since local schools shut down and kids are staying home. The store has found it difficult to keep seeds in stock but is still well supplied with gardening tools, soil, fertilizer, and gloves. Call 929-9030.

         Among food preparers in Nāʻālehu, is Punaluʻu Bake Shop, which has closed its retail and visitor center, with its kitchen for outdoor dining. However, its employees continue to produce its breads, cookies, and other products that are trucked and shipped to retailers and sold online. See bakeshophawaii.com to buy and gift the locally made products. Call 929-7343 for wholesale and fundraising orders.

    Taco Tita, next to Hana Hou Restaurant. Photo from Taco Tita
         South Side Shaka Restaurant & Bar is offering a full takeout menu from to daily, with bar service on the lanai only. The restaurant is offering pickup, and delivery in Nāʻālehu, Green Sand, and DiscoveryHarbour. Menu is on the Southside Shaka Yelp page. Call 929-7404.

         Hana Hou Restaurant is open for takeout only, daily. Retrieve menu by phone, on bulletin board, or at hanahourestaurant.com. Mostly burgers, bentos, and pizza, cookies, and dessert bars. Call 929-9717.

         Taco Tita next to Hana Hou is open for takeout only. Call 808-498-4957 or see Facebook.
         See more food sources for Kaʻū and Volcano in future Kaʻū News Briefs.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Keone Sanderson
    EXTRA CHARGES FOR COMMITTING A CRIME DURING A TIME OF AN EMERGENCY - this pandemic emergency - will be applied to a burglar who damaged and took three dollars from a restaurant in Ocean View on March 27. Hawaiʻi County Police arrested Keone Sanderson, 18, of Ocean View, charging him with burglary of a building during an emergency period, first-degree criminal property damage, prohibited acts under emergency management, and fourth-degree theft. His bail has been set at $10,750. He will be taken to the Kona cellblock pending his initial appearance scheduled for Monday, March 30 in Kona District Court.

         Video surveillance captured the lone suspect at about  throwing a rock through the glass door, then entering the restaurant, taking $3 in cash from a tip jar before leaving on foot.

         At  on March 27, a bystander notified police of broken glass at a restaurant in the 92-8700 block of Māmalahoa Highway in Ocean View, and determined that a rock had been thrown through the front door.

         Officers identified the suspect through the surveillance images. At , Sanderson was arrested without incident on Marlin Boulevard in Ocean View for suspicion of burglary. He was taken to the Nāʻālehu Station while officers with the Kaʻū Patrol Division continued the investigation.
         Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department's non-emergency line at 808-935-3311; Officer Dane Shibuya, of our Kaʻū Patrol Division, at 808-939-2520; or via email at Dayne.Shibuya@hawaiicounty.gov.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Excursions like this visit to the Hōkūleʻa aren't possible during the global COVID-19 pandemic, but students of
    The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences will have online tools to help explore Hawaiian culture. VSAS photo
    REMOTE ENRICHMENT is the name of the game for students of The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences through its Remote Learning Program, beginning Monday, March 30. 

         The school's website encourages families to take advantage of this time of students learning from home so they can continue to progress in their education. "VSAS teachers have received training on how to use online tools and have been working on transitioning their classroom curriculum to a remote format for the past few weeks. We anticipate needing to work through some challenges as we transition our entire educational program and appreciate your patience and partnership."


         The website says teachers will craft and communicate the learning plan to include online, print/book, and experiential assignments. Teachers are implementing "a variety of formats to best meet their students' needs as well as their own teaching styles."
         Remote Learning supplemental assignment packets were sent home on the last day of on-campus school, Friday, March 13 and included some instructions in technology used to learn remotely. Some teachers sent home assignments for core learning. The state Department of Education Superintendent's office has also prepared continuity of learning activities and resources for families, sites.google.com/k12.hi.us/resources-student-parent/home?authuser=0.
    The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences 
         VSAS requests parents to "support your child(ren) at home to ensure the best learning outcomes possible in this unfortunate and unprecedented situation. We realize the challenges for many families of supervising and helping students with their schoolwork while also having to work from home. With the exception of scheduled online activities or meetings with the teacher and deadlines for assignment completion, each family will have flexibility to come up with a schedule that fits your unique situation. We ask that parents honor their children's learning by supporting learning but not doing work for their children.

         "Families who do not have anyone to supervise and work with your child at home, please let your child's teacher or Kim Miller, Social Worker, kmiller@volcanoschool.net, know so that we can help to accommodate your needs."
         The Remote Learning enrichment will primarily be online. Every VSAS student has a Volcano School Google account with access to Mail, Drive, Hangout/Meets, and other tools that may be used by the teacher. Subscriptions to online tools required by the teacher will be free for student use. Spectrum is offering free internet and hot spots to support

    remote learning. VSAS is able to loan computers and hot spots, if needed. Teachers are prepared to provide print curriculum for any student who is not able to access educational program online. Teachers will be contacting families to find out each student's access to technology and needs.
         VSAS campuses are closed to all but essential personnel.

         Free student meals may be picked up from any of the following DOE schools from   for breakfast and - for lunch: Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary, Mt.ViewElementary and PāhoaHigh School. Volcano School will minimally provide meals in Volcano and Pāhala, as needed, either through VSAS kitchen or partnership with other schools.

         The message concludes: "We realize that this is a difficult time for all of you. We hope that you are coping with the pandemic and changes in family life and routine associated with it. If your family is currently experiencing or anticipating any hardship, such as access to food, medicine, or other basic needs, or emotional or behavioral challenges with children, please let us know.

         "We realize that the outbreak of COVID-19 may cause fears and anxieties for your children, families, or yourselves. If you or your child is experiencing emotional challenges related to this situation, please contact Kim Miller for assistance."

         VSAS is also creating an informal network to share food and supplies. Families with supplies at home and/or who are willing to help transport supplies can contact Kim Miller,  kmiller@volcanoschool.netor 808-985-8537. Those needing supplies can also contact her. 

         The school sent families an automated call, email, and text messages related to COVID-19 and Remote Learning on Wednesday, March 25. Those not receiving it can contact 808-985-9800, knagamine@volcanoschool.net, or the VSAS student's teacher to provide a current working phone number and email address, or to add contact methods for receiving automated notifications. 
         See regular updates on the school website volcanoschool.net.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    ADVOCATS IS CANCELLED for Saturday, April 25 at Ocean View Community Center. The free, appointment-only spay/neuter program for cats normally visits Kaʻū every other month. Call 895-9283 or see advocatshawaii.org for the next event.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE: The state Department of Health reports ten cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island as of Saturday, March 28. Three are new since yesterday.

         Throughout the state, there are 151 cases, with 29 reported today. There have been zero deaths from COVID-19 in the state. There are several possible community spread cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.

         U.S. surpassed all other countries in COVID-19 cases on Thursday. According to JohnsHopkinsUniversity, the U.S. has recorded 124,686 cases, a one-day jump of 19,849. However, the death toll in the U.S. is still under 2,000. The recovery number is over 2,600.
         Worldwide, more than 665,000 people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is more than 30,800, the recovery total is more than 141,000.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Scanning electron microprobe images show the complexity of tiny Icelandic ash grains (150 micron, or 0.006 inch). 
    Image (a) shows a dense and blocky grain, and (b) shows a foamy grain. Photos by J. Schmith

    UNKNOWN ASPECTS OF EXPLOSIVE VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS are the focus of this week's Volcano Watch, written by Johanne Schmith, an Associate Postdoctoral Researcher funded by the Carlsberg Foundation Internationalisation Fellowship of Denmark, whose work on Kīlauea was the subject a recent Volcano Watch:

         Water, ash, and the great unknown of explosive volcanic eruptions.

         The presence of water in Halema‘uma‘u has sparked an important discussion about what the pond means for future eruptions at Kīlauea Volcano. There are no written records of water at the summit, so to guide the discussion we need information about magma-water interaction from deposits of the past.

         But how can we get that information? I set out to answer this very question some years ago, and like many scientific quests, it started with a frustrating discovery.

         Sitting in my lab one defining afternoon, I was studying the explosive nature of Icelandic volcanoes at the University of Iceland. Our grain shape analyzer sat in its lavender box on the lab bench, humming loudly, as a pump ran my sample of volcanic ash through a water-filled tubing system.

         The grains went through an inch-long lens in front of a camera with a high-pitched shutter clicking manically at 30 frames per second. The screen next to the instrument showed a live stream of images with black particles on a light grey backdrop. In the sample bag, these same grains looked like tiny dust specks, but magnified on the screen, they came to life as abrasive, glassy shards of volcanic ash.

    This section of brown Icelandic soil (top) contains 800 years of ash deposits 
    erupted from five different volcanoes. The black layers, 5-10 cm (2-4 in) thick, 
    are from Katla Volcano. A white arrow points to a closeup of the 1755 Katla 
    ash deposit (lower left). The ash looks like specks of dust in the sample bag 
    (lower right), but microprobe imaging reveals how complex 
    the grain shapes are. Photos by J. Schmith

         I had been in the lab for several hours that day and for weeks before that. My experiment built on the observation that ash generated by different types of volcanic explosions had different shapes. Ash from explosions caused by the expansion of magmatic gasses looked like tiny pieces of frozen foam with broken bubble walls. Ash from explosions in which hot magma interacted with liquid water looked like broken glass shards – dense and blocky.

         This distinction was first observed in the 1970's using big, expensive electron microscopes to view a small selection of grains. During my study with the new shape analyzer, however, we had the opportunity to get information on many thousand grains all at once, and I intended to use that to characterize some puzzling big ash deposits in Iceland, and to look for a link with magma-water interaction.

         When the aggravating shutter clicking finally stopped, I pressed "export data" on the screen and ran to my desk to get the first peek at my achievement. I held my breath as the computer worked to plot results from all 20,000 grains, and then gasped in disbelief. My plot came out with grain shapes all over the place with no systematic groupings at all. I tried another sample, then one more and yet another, and I felt crushed! Many months of hard work seemed useless.

         After days of checking my instrument setup, the quality of my data, and digging through a lot of scientific papers, I finally had an idea. The old experiments had characterized only a few grains, so perhaps something was missing in the classification scheme. So, I went back to my photos of individual ash grains and started to classify their shapes according to how much they were influenced by broken bubbles and consequently by magmatic gas expansion.

         The grains weren't just foamy or dense. Instead, I saw a spectrum of shapes, from blocky shards with dense glass and no bubbles, then blocky shards with a few isolated bubbles, to progressively more foamy grains. This was exciting!

         Over the following weeks I worked to put this new information into a classification diagram. I collected new samples from different types of explosive eruptions for which I already knew if water was involved or not.

         Some lab sessions later, I once again held my breath in front of my computer, but this time it worked! There was a predictable and systematic difference to the test samples. The Icelandic ash turned out to be the result of both magmatic gas expansion and magma-water interaction. We now have a more flexible way to characterize how water influences volcanic eruptions just from looking at the shapes of tiny ash grains.

         I am now in Hawaiʻi, collecting samples of ash from Kīlauea to figure out what role water has played in past summit eruptions. Results will be discussed in a future Volcano Watch, so stay tuned!

    Illustrations from the Encyclopedia Britannica show the six standard types of eruptions. Hawaiian, second on the right, 
    is one commonly used to describe when "fluid lava flows from a volcano's summit and radial fissures to form
    shield volcanoes, which are quite large and have gentle slopes."
         Volcano Activity Updates

         Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level remains at NORMAL (https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.html). Kīlauea updates are issued monthly.

         Kīlauea monitoring data over the past month showed no significant changes in seismicity, sulfur dioxide emission rates, or deformation. The water lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continued to slowly expand and deepen.

         Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level remains at ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption is certain. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly.

         This past week, HVO recorded about 42 small-magnitude earthquakes, all less than M2.0, beneath the upper elevations of Mauna Loa. Monitoring data showed that slow summit inflation continued and fumarole temperature and gas concentrations on the Southwest Rift Zone remain stable.

         Seven earthquakes with three or more felt reports occurred in Hawaiʻi this past week: a magnitude-3.0 quake 16 km (10 mi) south of Fern Acres at 5 km (3 mi) depth on March 25 at 4:54 p.m.; a magnitude-3.2 quake 8 km (5 mi) northeast of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on March 24 at 7:45 a.m.; a magnitude-3.3 quake 14 km (9 mi) southeast of Volcano at 1 km (1 mi) depth on March 21 at 6:55 a.m.; a magnitude-3.8 quake 16 km (10 mi) southeast of Volcano at 1 km (1 mi) depth on March 21 at 5:07 a.m.; a magnitude-3.9 quake 7 km (4 mi) northwest of Pāhala at 0 km (0 mi) depth on March 19 at 6:54 a.m.; a magnitude-2.6 quake 12 km (7 mi) southeast of Volcano at 6 km (4 mi) depth on March 19 at 6:48 a.m.; and a magnitude-2.3 quake 22 km (14 mi) northeast of Hōnaunau-Nāpōʻopoʻo at 3 km (2 mi) depth on March 19 at 6:32 a.m.
         HVO continues to closely monitor both Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Visit HVO's website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.
    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of April.


    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled through the end of April.

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Thursday, April 30 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    MOST UPCOMING EVENTS are cancelled for the month of April, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    ONGOING
    Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary weekdays through at least the end of April. Each youth must be present to receive a meal. Service is drive-up or walk-up, and social distancing rules (at least six feet away) are observed. Breakfast is served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

    St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen is open, with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org.

    Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students begins Monday, March 30. The packets are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can be picked up every two weeks. One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Please note the grade of each child. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home. Supplies will be given out simultaneously.
         Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying 6 feet away from others during pick-up. See the school website, naalehuel.hidoe.us, for more information and updates.

         Distribution in the Nāʻālehu area is at Nāʻālehu Elementary, Waiʻōhinu, and DiscoveryHarbourCommunity Center. Distribution in Ocean View is at the county's KahukuPark, the area in front of Malama Market, and OceanViewCommunity Center.

         At Nāʻālehu Elementary, campus pick-up will be from 9 a.m - 9:20 a.m. for A-H; for I-P, and for Q-Z.

         The Waiʻōhinu pick-up: for A-H, for I-P, and for Q-Z.

         The DiscoveryHarbourCommunity Centerpick-up: for A-H, for I-P, and for Q-Z.

         Morning distribution at KahukuPark: for A-H, for I-P, and for Q-Z.

         Evening distribution at KahukuPark: for A-H, for I-P, and for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution in front of Malama Market are: for A-H, for I-P, and for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution at OceanViewCommunity Center are for A-H, for I-P, and for Q-Z.

    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the Park and center reopen, and is available online for free download.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.



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    L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in Ocean View, with takeout only and an
    online menu to call in orders. See more on food availability in Kaʻū and Volcano below. Photo from L&L
    RESTRICTED INTERISLAND AIR TRAVEL is on the way for Hawaiʻi, according to the Adjutant General Kenneth Hara, who is the the incident commander at the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. He and representatives of the Hawaiʻi State Senate Special Committee on COVID-19, Gov. David Ige, all four mayors, and state emergency managers, met on Friday and decided to "restrict inter-island travel," said Hara.
    Major General Kenneth Hara, the
    incident commander in Hawaiʻi
    for the war on COVID-19.
         Already in place is that all arrivals from out-of-state must quarantine for 14 days, in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. To be more restrictive by limiting inter-isalnd travel, said Hara, the logistics must be studied carefully to include establishing a list of essential travelers who would be exempt from the ban to travel interisland. He said the group is working to evaluate unintended consequences. "As an example, if we take this additional measure, it could be that Hawaiian [Airlines] just says: hey, it's not cost-effective, we're not flying anymore. Then how do we get critical cargo back and forth by air?"
         Another measure before instating the interisland travel ban would be to produce forms for exempted people to sign, so they can be tracked.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    FOOD PROVIDERS IN OCEAN VIEW are going the extra mile to stay open with takeout and retails sales, with some outlets also providing gardening supplies and seeds for families to grow their own food.
         L&L Hawaiian Barbecue on the makai side of Hwy 11 is open  seven days a week, with takeout only. See the menu at hawaiianbarbecue.com. To order, call 929-8888.
         Ocean View Pizzaria, mauka of Hwy 11, is open Fridays and Saturdays  and Monday through Friday , takeout only. Call in orders at 929-9677.
         DJ's Pizza & Bake Shop, mauka of Hwy 11, reduced its hours and is open Monday - Saturday,  to , takeout only. See Facebook.
         Ka Lae Garden Thai Food offers takeout along with farm stand fruits and vegetables. Hours are  Wednesday through Sunday. Call 808-494-7688.
    Ka Lae Garden offers Thai takeout Wednesday through
    Sunday in Ocean View. Photo from Ka Lae Garden

         Mehe's Bar & Grill, mauka of Hwy 11, has halted all services. Its Facebook page says, "We have decided to close Mehe's to protect our employees and guests... We look forward to seeing you on Monday, the 8th" of April, the projected reopening day. See Facebook.

         Malama Market, makai of Hwy 11, is open seven days a week,  The store sometimes places a limit on certain items but offers all of its fresh, refrigerated, frozen, canned, and dry foods as usual. Malama Market is owned by Foodland. Call 939-7560.

         Ocean View Market, mauka of Hwy 11, is open daily from  to  The Kamagaki family owners may limit the number of people in the store, if necessary. Otherwise, the store is operating with fresh, refrigerated, frozen, canned, and dry foods, and household goods, as usual. Call 929-8800.
         Kahuku Country Market, mauka of Hwy 11, is open its regular hours, at last check.
         Ranchos Ace Housemart Hardware, mauka of Hwy 11, is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. The store offers extensive garden tools, soil, seeds for food plants, and fertilizers. Call 929-7315.
         Ocean View Flea Market, where food items and other household goods were sold on Saturdays, is shut down until the pandemic is over.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    FOOD PROVIDERS IN VOLCANO are going the extra mile to stay open with takeout and retail sales, with some outlets also providing gardening supplies and seeds for families to grow their own food.
         Thai Thai Bistro & Bar, at 19-4084 Old Volcano Hwy, is open for takeout only Thursday through Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call in orders to 808-967-7969. Alcohol is available at its adjacent True Value Hardware store. See lavalodge.com/thai-thai-bistro.html.
         Lava Rock Café is open for take-out through calling the adjacent Kīlauea General Store. Hours for pick-up are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. Alcohol is available in Kīlauea General Store. Call in orders to 967-7555 and see lavarock.cafe.
    Kīlauea General Store offers takeout from its Big O's and Lava Rock Café. It also sells locally grown
    foods and plans a food box for pick-up by customers. Photo from Kīlauea General Store
         Big O's Sandwiches & Coffee inside Kīlauea General Store offers subs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and pizzas from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call in orders to 808-967-7555; pick up at Kīlauea General Store.
         Kīlauea General Store, on Old Volcano Highway, is open daily 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is the pick-up place for Lava Rock Café and Big O's Sandwiches & Coffee. The store offers canned, dry, and refrigerated foods; alcohol; and household goods. For sale from local farms, the store sells such produce as cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, lemons, and limes. The store is planning to offer a produce box for pick-up. Call 967-7555.
         Volcano Store, on Old Volcano Highway, is open daily from 5 a.m. to 6:30. p.m. The store has fresh produce, along with refrigerated and frozen food, alcohol, and household goods. It is the only propane provider in Volcano. Call 967-7240.
         Hawaiʻi True Value Hardware on Old Volcano Highway, is open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. In addition to hardware, it sells soil and garden tools. Call 808-967-7969.
    Kīlauea Lodge is offering Curbside Take Out for breakfast,
    lunch, and dinner. Photo from Kīlauea Lodge
         Kīlauea Lodge, at 19-3948 Old Volcano Road, is open for take out by calling 808-967-7366. A 15 percent discount from prices on the standard menu is offered. Take out breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m, and lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Special family meal offers are posted on the Kīlauea Lodge Facebook, along with a menu link. Wine is available by the bottle and beer is available by the bottle and can. See highwaywestvacations.com/properties/kilauea-lodge#about
         Café Ono, on Old Volcano Highway is open for takeout, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call ahead to confirm hours, 985-8979. See cafeono.net for menu.
         Aunty Pon's Food Truck at 19-4030 Wright Road is open for takeout Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Order ahead by calling 808-785-5795. See auntyponsthaifoodtruck.com.
         Volcano Farmers Market at Cooper Center on Wright Road, off of Old Volcano Highway, is open on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with much local produce and prepared foods. Call 808-967-7800.
         Volcano Winery is open for curbside pick up of wine and cheese spreads. Winery visits and tastings are temporarily suspended. Call ahead for pickup between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. See volcanowinery.com. Call 808-9667-7772. The winery is located at 35 Piʻimauna Drive.     Closed are       ʻŌhelo Cafe in Volcano Village and all food services inside Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: The Rim and Uncle George's Lounge in Volcano House Hotel, and Lava Lounge and Crater Rim Cafe in Kīlauea Miltary Camp, and the food service at the KMC bowling alley, which is also closed.

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    Lettuce from Kaʻili Maliʻe Farms in Pāhala.
    Photo by Marlene Freitas
    FOOD PROVIDERS IN PĀHALA  are going the extra mile to stay open with takeout and retail
    sales, with some outlets also providing gardening supplies to grow their own food. There are no restaurants in Pāhala.
         Mizuno's Superette on Pikake Street offers hot coffee and food to microwave. It also sells fresh vegetables; canned, refrigerated, frozen and dry foods; chicken feed; and alcohol. It sells many gardening and household goods, plus cleaning supplies. It is open Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon. Call 808-928-8101.
         R&G Store is open on Kamani Street from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It offers frozen, refrigerated, and dry food, and alcohol. Call 808-928-8155.
         Long's Drugs on Pikake Street in Pāhala is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It offers refrigerated and dry food, sundries, cleaning supplies, and hosts the CVS pharmacy. Call 928-6252.
         Kaʻili Maliʼe Farms in Pāhala sells vegetables - including green leafy lettuces, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower - Kaʻū Coffee, and much more, all grown on the former Hester farm above Pāhala. It offers pick-up and delivery in the Pāhala area. Call Marlene or Rodney Freitas at 808-987-2578 or 808-987-8918, or connect to them through Facebook.

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    Keiki Care Packs will be distributed in Volcano,
    Nāʼālehu, and Miloliʻi. Photo from Ashley Kierkiewicz
    KEIKI CARE PACKS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED AT COOPER CENTER in Volcano on Monday, March 30 at 9 a.m. They are sponsored by Connect Point Church, Activate Hawaiʻi Aid, Aloha In Action, Vibrant Hawaiʻi and many others. The care packs will be home delivered in Miloliʻi, with area captains Leilynn Kaupu and Melissa Waite-Crawford, and in Nāʻālehu, with captain Michelle Galimba. The Volcano captain is Shannnon Matson. The kits include food, keiki supplies, and activities.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    NĀʻĀLAHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL DARLENE JAVAR recently issued a message to families with students at the school, along with directions for picking up school lessons and supplies. She wrote:

    Nāʻālehu Elementary School
    Principal Darlene Javar

         "The work to love, care for, and educate our children is evolving rapidly. This looks different for every community. Your Nāʻālehu Elementary School staff understands this. Following is guidance and thoughts as our world evolves.

         "Priorities: Aloha, kindness, and total well-being is the priority!! Feelings: We miss our students. We care about our students, families, and community. Resources: We are 'offering' resources for all families to include packets, learning supplies, and curriculum material. Everything is yours to keep!!!
         "We are fortunate to still have previous curriculum for some grades in storage. For those who have online capacity, online resources are also suggested and offered. If you don't have internet access consider contacting Spectrum or HawaiianTel because they have offers.

         "Always options: Learning can take many forms. You can use other resources. 

         "How much is enough? Do what you can. Do more if you want. If it's too hard, it's okay. Talk to your child's teacher for help and guidance.

         Phone calls: Teachers have been trying to reach all parents. Messages have been sent out on Synervoice.

         Facebook: NāʻālehuElementary StudentCouncil (Yes, words are connected as in first and last naalehuel.hidoe.us Note that the page is still under construction. Keep coming back as we expand. Twitter: @Darlene_Javar
         "Although we highly encourage family support in enriching and maintaining the academic learning of our students, taking care of the heart and health of your ʻohana is the priority." 

    Nāʻālehu Elementary families can pick up a personal bag
    of school resources and learning packets for each enrolled
    student on Monday, March 30. See times and places below.
    Photo by Sheilah Okimoto
         Distribution of learning packets and resources began on Monday and is scheduled for March 30, April 13, April 27 and beyond, as needed.
         The packets are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.     
         One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Please note the grade of each child. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home.
         Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying six feet away from others during pick-up. See the school website, naalehuel.hidoe.us, for more information and updates.



    FAMILIES CAN PICK UP NĀʻĀLEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEARNING PACKETS AND STUDENT RESOURCES, beginning this Monday, March 30 and every two weeks as needed at locations closest to homes.
         Distribution in the Nāʻālehu area is at Nāʻālehu Elementary, Waiʻōhinu Park, and Discovery Harbour Community Center. Distribution in Ocean View is at the county's Kahuku Park, the area in front of Malama Market, and Ocean View Community Center.

         At Nāʻālehu Elementary, campus pick-up will be from 9 a.m - 9:20 a.m. for A-H;  for I-P, and  for Q-Z. The Waiʻōhinu Park pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z. The Discovery Harbour Community Center pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

    A mural at Nāʻālehu Elementary School, showing the hard-working beaver 
    and the school's mascot, a sea turtle. Photo from naalehuel.hidoe.us

         Morning distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z. Evening distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z. Times for distribution in front of Malama Market are:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z. Times for distribution at Ocean View Community Center are  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

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    USE BEST PRACTICES TO STEM VIRUS SPREAD AND LIVE ALOHA is the message from state Sen. Dru Kanuha, who represents west Kaʻū through Miloliʻi into Kona.
          Kanuha recently sent the following to constituents:
         "In light of Governor Ige's stay-at-home mandate, I want to reaffirm the importance of reducing the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing (6 feet apart), ceasing large gatherings of 10 persons or more, and washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds. The World Health Organization states that the United States has yet to reach the peak number of persons infected by COVID-19 and to be prepared, as it may take months before the number of persons infected plateaus and declines.
    State Sen. Dru Kanuha
         "As staying connected will be critical to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, I plan to send regular updates with relevant information for our West Hawaiʻi community. Updates will also include information regarding federal and state aid, local donation drives or food delivery efforts, and news from our community as we continue to uplift and care for each other during this difficult time.
         "There are lots of great efforts happening in our community to help one another. Whether you're dropping off food and supplies to a neighbor in need or simply heeding the mandate to stay at home, we all have an important part to play. By working together as a community to flatten the curve of COVID-19, we will get through this. Stay safe and prepared, and always remember and live the aloha that keeps us strong."

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    STATE SAFETY INSPECTIONS FOR VEHICLES ARE EXTENDED through May 30. For vehicle repairs, Kaʻū Auto Repair is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, by appointment only, , closed earlier if necessary. Towing and roadside service are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Jolisa Masters of Kaʻū Auto Repair told The Kaʻū Calendar, "Appointments for repairs are spaced out so that there are not so much customers gathering at any given time. We are practicing disinfecting procedures as recommended by the CDC." Call 808-929-9096 for an appointment.


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    IN-HOME INTERNET IN KAʻŪ is available for free to those without, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spectrum is offering a credit for two months of free internet service to customers with students Pre-K through 12th grade in the household, who don't already have internet or WiFi. All installation and pre-payment fees will also be waived. Call 855-243-8892 to sign up.
         Locally-owned Kaʻū Computers offers in-home installation of internet, WiFi, networks, and PC and Mac computers. Run by Jerry Pritchard, he operates from Ocean View to Pāhala, Monday through Friday, , and on weekends by appointment. Show him his ad in The Kaʻū Calendar and get 10 percent off services. Contact Pritchard at 808-987-4532, support@kaucomputers.com, or see kaucomputers.com.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi County reports seven active cases of COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi Island as of Sunday, March 29. In addition, there are five recovered cases and no deaths.

         Throughout the state, there are 175 cases, with 24 reported today. There have been zero deaths from COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi. There are several possible community spread cases of COVID-19 in the state.

         U.S. surpassed all other countries in COVID-19 cases on Thursday. According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded 143,055 cases. The death toll in the U.S. topped 2,000.
         Worldwide, more than 724,00 people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is more than 34,026. The recovery total is more than 152,314.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of April.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled through the end of April.

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Thursday, April 30 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    MOST UPCOMING EVENTS are cancelled for the month of April, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    ONGOING
    Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary weekdays through at least the end of April. Each youth must be present to receive a meal. Service is drive-up or walk-up, and social distancing rules (at least six feet away) are observed. Breakfast is served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

    St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen is open, with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org.


    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the Park and center reopen, and is available online for free download.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.



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    Lt. Gov. Josh Green and state Rep. Richard Creagan are both physicians and have both lived in Kaʻū, where Creagan
    resides. They visited Kona Hospital recently as part of preparation for a surge in COVID-19 cases. See their views
    on isolating people and suggestions for treatment facilities, below. Photo from Hawaiʻi Healh Systems Corp
    A MANDATORY QUARANTINE FOR INTERISLAND TRAVEL was handed down by Gov. David Ige today. "We must keep our guard up," said Ige. The April 1 through April 30 travel quarantine will restrict interisland travel to all but those deemed essential for work in health, construction, infrastructure maintenance, and other services. The state is working out any self quarantine possibilities for those essential persons traveling the islands.
         During a press conference today, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is also a physician, stressed the importance of people keeping distance between one another. Green pointed to the possible exponential explosion of the disease from people without symptoms to others. He said, "This is how fast it goes bad for us." Once it starts spreading in the community, an eight percent increase in the number of cases in two days, can become 15 percent in four days.
         Another approach, approved during the COVID-19 pandemic for treating the disease, is allowing out-of-state licensed physicians and nurses to practice here. Out of state nurses and physicians will be able to practice here with their out-of-state licenses.
         In other COVID-19 news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering recommending that the general public wear masks. One reason is to help people to refrain from touching their faces, which can carry the disease to mouth, nose, and eyes, where it can be transmitted.
    With new restrictions on interisland travel, only persons considered essential
    will be allowed to fly, and Hawaiian Airline's schedule is likely to be
    cut back again. Map from Hawaiian Airlines
         Lanaʻi and Molokaʻi , which are spared from virus so far, may become even more isolated. The Mayor of Maui County, which includes Lanaʻi, Molokaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, and Maui, said he wants to keep the islands COVID-19 free.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    HOW LIFE IN THE ISLANDS WILL PROCEED under the threat of COVID-19, and making contingency plans for a surge of cases, is discussed by Kaʻū resident and member of the state House of Representatives, Richard Creagan: Kaʻū is vast with few people. The beach and volcano parks are closed, shoreline empty and off limits, all enticing for a walk, a swim, and a gathering of friends and family. The COVID-19 notices come often, prohibiting people from doing things together, telling people to stay six feet apart to avoid the virus that is carried by coughing droplets into the air. Schools, churches, and community centers are closed, many restaurants and stores too. There is no live music in a public place.

         Creagan, himself a physician and 74 years old, said he agrees with the seemingly counter-aloha directives and mandates to keep apart. Recommendations include everyone staying far from kūpuna – the elders and most vulnerable to COVID-19 killing them. Their loving family members could be carriers without even knowing it, said the doctor.

    He pointed to a graph that shows younger people with a low risk of dying from COVID-19. "Older people in the community are at extreme risk." He said the younger people should be the ones going to the stores for the families. "The older people should definitely stay home."

         Creagan said he recommends isolating Hawaiʻi Island and the rest of the state. He said he helped initiate the measure that requires anyone coming to Hawaiʻi to self-quarantine for 14 days, and that he supports halting most interisland flights, set to take effect Paril 1 (see story, above). Creagan said that standing down patiently, until the novel coronavirus that was brought to Hawaiʻi goes away, could save Hawaiʻi from the huge surges of infections and deaths that are seen on the mainland and in Europe.

    Rep. and physician Richard Creagan
         Should there be a big surge, Creagan said, the state needs to be ready to treat COVID-19 patients. He said that without the visitors in the many empty resorts, hotel campuses could become the unexpected safe places to treat COVID-19 victims. Refitting hotels to become hospitals could keep COVID-19 away from the community and away from other medical facilities that have their normal duties. He said the many hotel rooms would be excellent hospital rooms, each with a restroom, climate control, and separate from others. The check in desks are already there; food preparation facilities in place, said Creagan.
         Creagan said that victims with even the mildest symptoms should be separated from the community into these hotel hospitals. They could stay on one floor, the more serious on oxygen on another. A separate hotel wing could house health care crew – staying onsite so they too keep the virus from their families and friends. The health care workers could be a kind of COVID Corps, said Creagan, with young doctors, nurses, and techs treating COVID patients. Older, more vulnerable health care workers would remain at existing hospitals, staying with their routine of treating those with other ailments.

         Changing up idle hotels could also benefit Hawaiʻi financially, said Creagan. Workers laid off from their hotel jobs because of COVID-19 shutdowns could return to take care of the hotel hospital, working in maintenance and food preparation. Should the hotel hospital campuses all be on Oʻahu, said Creagan, COVID-19 victims on NeighborIslands could be flown there, giving the local airlines some income.

         He said that most importantly, COVID cases should not overwhelm Hawaiʻi's hospitals that are set up to treat people with heart attacks, strokes, delivering babies, and other specialties. "The hotels could be our salvation," he said. They would provide an environment of isolation for treating COVID-19 victims with dignity, respect, and comfort. They would enable our existing hospitals to maintain their standard of care for their patients.
         Creagan said the plan could "wipe out COVID-19 on the NeighborIslands" and life could become more active again.


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    HAWAIʻI IS SET TO RECEIVE AT LEAST $4 BILLION in federal novel coronavirus relief funding. Sen. Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the new funding "will support state and local response efforts and help Hawai‘i families and businesses struggling to get by."
         Key funding for Hawai‘i includes $1.25 billion to help fund state and county government response efforts; $1.14 billion in estimated unemployment assistance; $1.24 billion in estimated direct cash payments to Hawai‘i residents; $130 million in estimated funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; $53 million to support local schools and colleges during the pandemic; $11 million for Hawai‘i's community health centers; and $8 million in Community Development Block Grants. Millions more in federal money for Hawai‘i will go to additional health care, education, public transportation, and housing programs, said Schatz.


    SARS-CoV-2, seen through an electron microscope, which causes the
    pandemic virus, COVID-19. Image from Johns Hopkins
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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE: The state Department of Health reports ten cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island as of today, March 30. with three new since yesterday. Mayor Harry Kim states there are 16 cases on-island: five recovered and 11 in at-home quarantine. The state report states there are 15 cases on-island.
         Throughout the state, there are 204 cases, with 29 reported today. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in the state – only Hawaiʻi and Wyoming have reported no deaths from the virus. On Oʻahu, there are two victims on ventilators and six people in intensive care. There are several possible community spread cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi. There are approximately 60 recovered cases in the state.
         According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded 164,610 cases, over 60,000 more cases than any other country. The death toll in the U.S. is over 3,000. The recovery number is 5,945.
         Worldwide, 787,631 people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is 37,840. The recovery total is 166,276.

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    Nāʻālehu Elementary staff volunteers, Dayna Santiago, Rose Acevedo, Shelly Badua, Cynthia Baji, and Minda Brown, 
    handed out student learning resources and packets at Discovery Harbour Community Center today. See the 
    schedule for the next delivery into student neighborhoods below. Photo from Nāʻālehu Elementary
    HAWAIʻI IS IN A DEEP ECONOMIC RECESSION that "will surpass anything we have seen in our lifetimes and it will take an extended period of time for the economy to recover," said Carl Bonham, Executive Director of University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, and Professor of Economics at University of Hawaiʻi. He gave a presentation today to the state House of Representatives Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness.
         "It is time to start planning what it is going to take to reopen our economy," Bonham said. "We deal with the health crisis immediately, we deal with the keeping people in their homes and the most needy right away, but we need to start talking about what has to happen next."
         Rep. Kyle Yamashita said the Committee "has a critical role to play in preparing for our eventual economic recovery by identifying, streamlining, and positioning shovel-ready construction projects for action. This work is essential for keeping people employed, helping people return to work as soon as jobs are available, and ensuring that the state has a robust, sustained recovery."
         Labor and Public Employment Chair Aaron Ling Johanson said, "In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to bring together stakeholders – through collaborative efforts... to identify all the resources and flexibilities that are available to help individuals and families remain in their homes, put food on their table, and remain in or return to work."
         Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura said the nonprofit groups on the committee are critical for maintaining a strong safety net for our elderly and economically disadvantaged citizens.
         Bank of Hawaiʻi President and CEO Peter Ho said, "This is clearly an economic committee, but social support and economics go hand in hand in this situation."

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    The Food Basket will take food to many locations this month in Volcano, Pāhala, Nāʻālehu, and Ocean View,
    including Kaʻū District Gym, shown here. See the schedule, below. Photo by Julia
    THE FOOD BASKET HAS RELEASED ITS SCHEDULE FOR FOOD PANTRIES IN OCEAN VIEW, NĀʻĀLEHU, PĀHALA, AND VOLCANO.
         The Ocean View location is St. Jude's Episcopal Church at 92-8606 Paradise Circle Mauka, where The Food Basket provides 14 days of food per family, distributed the last Tuesday of the month from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.
         The Nāʻālehu location is Sacred Hearts Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy where the The Food Basket provides the Loaves and Fishes program to distribute 14 days of food per family on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 928-8208.
         The Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street where The Food Basket provides the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry to give 14 days of food per family on the last Thursday of the Month at 11:30 a.m. Call 933-6030.
         The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road where The Food Basket provides 14 days of food per family to distribute on the last Thursday of the month at 3:30 p.m. Call Kehau at 443-4130.

    Cooper Center in Volcano Village continues to help the community, despite
    gatherings of more than 10 people being banned, by hosting events like
    Friends Feeding Friends on Thursdays. Photo from Cooper Center
    A FREE DINNER FOR THOSE IN NEED is served at Volcano Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road every Thursday, by Friends Feeding Friends, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

    AN ON CALL EMERGENCY FOOD PANTRY is open at Cooper Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is operated by The Food Basket. Call 808-933-6030.

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    GIVE INPUT ON UPCOMING HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC PROJECTS by attending virtual community meetings in April. The utility is asking for community input on five proposed battery energy storage systems: two on Hawaiʻi, one in Central Maui, and two on Oʻahu. The projects made the first round of Hawaiian Electric's request for proposals for renewable energy and grid services issued in August.
         On Hawaiʻi Island, the two self-build projects being proposed include a six MegaWatt / six MegaWatt hour Battery Energy Storage System in Puna, and a 12 MW / 12 MWh BESS at Keahole Power Plant. Comments on the proposed projects are being accepted until May 15.

         The virtual community meeting for Hawaiʻi Island will be held Wednesday, April 15,  on Nā Leo TV Channel 53. Viewers may email questions to punabess@hawaiianelectric.com or keaholebess@hawaiianelectric.com prior to or during the program.

         Jack Shriver, Hawaiian Electric director of generation project development, said, "We know the community is dealing with a lot right now because of the pandemic, and there is uncertainty on how long this will last. If we could postpone these meetings we would. But, these potential projects are under a compressed schedule for permitting and construction. We want to give our communities an early opportunity to provide their feedback on our self-build proposals.

    Give input via email on Battery Energy Storage Systems are planned for
    Puna and near Keahole airport in Kona. Photo from Windpower Monthly
         "Like all developers, Hawaiian Electric's self-build team must abide by the requirements in the RFP for transparency and community engagement. Our self-build team does not know what other developers are proposing because of the strict code of conduct that prohibits interactions with the team that is evaluating the RFP bids."

         Under the Competitive Bidding Framework rules approved by the PUC, Hawaiian Electric may propose self-build projects – developed, constructed and owned by the utility – to meet generation and/or capacity needs across its service territories. To ensure all projects are treated fairly and equitably and will not interact to create problems on the grid, the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission has chosen independent observers and a technical adviser to oversee the process and proposals. If selected through the RFP process, Hawaiian Electric's self-build projects would still require PUC approval. 

         For more information, visit hawaiianelectric.com/selfbuildprojects.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

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    Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of April.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled through the end of April.

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Thursday, April 30 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    MOST UPCOMING EVENTS are cancelled for the month of April, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.


    ONGOING
    Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary weekdays through at least the end of April. Each youth must be present to receive a meal. Service is drive-up or walk-up, and social distancing rules (at least six feet away) are observed. Breakfast is served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

    St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen is open, with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org.

    Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students begins Monday, March 30. The packets are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can be picked up every two weeks. One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Please note the grade of each child. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home. Supplies will be given out simultaneously.
         Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying 6 feet away from others during pick-up. See the school website, naalehuel.hidoe.us, for more information and updates.

         Distribution in the Nāʻālehu area is at Nāʻālehu Elementary, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour Community Center. Distribution in Ocean View is at the county's Kahuku Park, the area in front of Malama Market, and Ocean ViewCommunity Center.

         At Nāʻālehu Elementary, campus pick-up will be from 9 a.m - 9:20 a.m. for A-H;  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         The Waiʻōhinu pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         The Discovery Harbour Community Center pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Morning distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Evening distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution in front of Malama Market are:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution at Ocean View Community Center are  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the Park and center reopen, and is available online for free download.

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    Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation regularly updates is projection of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Hawaiʻi,

    along with the need for medical facilities and equipment to fight the disease. See the Hawaiʻi projections here. 
    THE FIRST DEATH IN HAWAIʻI OF A PERSON WHO TESTED POSITIVE WITH COVID-19 OCCURRED ON OʻAHU. During a press conference on Oʻahu Tuesday, state Department of Health chief Bruce Anderson said the man suffered underlying health problems and was elderly. It is unclear as to whether COVID-19 contributed to the death, but he tested positive.

         Andersonalso noted that Hawaiʻi is one of the top three states in testing per capita for COVID-19, which should help control the disease through isolating those who have it.
         In reviewing the inter-island travel restrictions that begin on April 1, the governor said the ban is needed to keep Hawaiʻi safe. He said he understands the importance of traveling for essential work, and for surgery and other necessary health. Both will be exempt.

          Kenneth Hara, the Adjunct General in charge of Hawaiʻi's war on COVID-19, explained that those traveling interisland will be traced through filling out a form. The information required: name, residential address, contact telephone number, and destination information, declaring work or health need and where the person will stay.
         Those traveling interisland to perform essential functions are subject to self-quarantine while traveling, except when performing essential functions. Self-quarantine means travelers must remain in their hotel rooms, order food delivery, and not receive visitors. When they return to their island residence, they are not subject to quarantine, but are required to wear appropriate protective gear – primarily masks – and follow all social distancing requirements.
         Those traveling for medical or health care are not subject to self-quarantine, as long as they wear appropriate protective gear and follow social distancing requirements.

         Violations of this order could result in a misdemeanor with fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year in prison, or both.

         Lt. Gov Josh Green emphasized that 3,000 people have died in U.S., more than during 9/11, and pressed for people to follow the rules of staying at home and practicing social distancing.

         During the press conference, government officials presented maps that show the number of cases around the state. None are shown for Kaʻū but South Kona has some.

         See more from the state Department of Health here.

       

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    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE: The state Department of Health reports 15 active cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island as of March 31. One, a resident, is new since yesterday.

         Throughout the state, there are 224 cases, with 22 reported today – 21 on Oʻahu. There has been one death, today, from COVID-19 in the state – see article above. There are several possible community spread cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.

         According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded 189,624 cases. The death toll in the U.S. is more than 3,800. The recovery number is 7,136.

         Worldwide, 860,181 people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is 42,345. The recovery total is 178,359.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    BIG ISLAND GIVING TREE will be at St. Jude's tomorrow, Wednesday, with fresh produce and avocados at 3 p.m. Drive-thru only. Free to whomever needs, first come first served.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    The state Department of Health maps of COVID-19 cases shows no cases in Kaʻū, but health care professionals 
    and public officials ask residents to make sure they follow the stay-at-home and distancing practices.







    HAWAIʻI WILL REACH ITS PEAK IN COVID-19 cases around April 30, according to projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. See them here. The projected number of cases tops 2,000. IHME bases its estimates, in part, on state-mandated social distancing. In Hawaiʻi on March 19, educational facilities closed; on March 25, the stay-at-home order was enacted and non-essential services closed. The projection, however, doesn't consider travel that is severely limited, now that tourism is mostly non-existent, the 4-day quarantine for travel from outside the state is in place, and the interisland flight restrictions go into place on Wednesday. IHME updates its projections regularly. The Kaʻū Calendar contacted IHME and asked for clarification this morning.

         In his press conference this afternoon, Gov. David Ige said he contacted IHME to make sure the researchers adjust their model to include the extreme travel restrictions in Hawaiʻi.
         The IHME projections predict that Hawaiʻi will need 1,110 hospital beds, short 154, with 956 currently available. It projects that 165 ICU beds will be needed, short 123, with 45 currently available. It predicts that 134 ventilators will be needed.
         The model also predicts 374 COVD-19 deaths in Hawaiʻi, beginning in early April and ending in late June. See the projections for the country and for each state at covid19.heathdata.org. IHME predicts almost 84,000 deaths in the U.S.by Aug. 14, with the peak number of cases and deaths per day in April.

         The IHME Director is Christopher Murray, Chair of the Department of Health Metrics Services at University of Washington. Read more about the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations at healthdata.org. The Institute’s slogan is "Measuring what matters."


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    HAWAIʻI RANKS THIRD IN AGGRESSIVE MEASURES TO PREVENT AND CONTAIN COVID-19, according to a study released Tuesday by WalletHub. Californiaand Rhode Island rank first and second. However, Hawaiʻi ranks 49th in Economic Impact, which relates to its extreme dependence on tourism. In a ranking called Risk Factors & Infrastructure, which considers the health care delivery system, poverty, and other factors, Hawaiʻi ranks 45th.
         Other rankings showing Hawaiʻi's preparedness include third place for the population being covered by health insurance, with only Massachusetts and District of Columbia higher. The states with the lowest number of
    health insured are Oklahoma, Alaska, and Texas.

         Hawaiʻi ranks fourth highest in public health care spending per capita, following District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Mexico.

         Hawaiʻi ranks third in lowest share of at-risk population of the chronically ill, after Minnesotaand Colorado. The states with the most-at-risk populations are Kentucky, Alabama, and West Virginia.

         The worst metric for Hawaiʻi in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic relates to financial health and reliance on tourism. Hawaiʻi ranks 49th in Highest Accommodation & Food Services; Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation; and Public Transportation Output, as Share of Total State GDP. Hawaiʻi ties with Nevadaand Alaska. The states with the least tourism dependency in terms of GDP are Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

         Hawaiʻi also has the second Highest Share of Workforce in Accommodations & Food Services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Bus Service & Urban Transit; Air Transportation; and Taxi Service. Only Nevada has more, and Florida is right behind Hawaiʻi. States with the least share of workforce related to travel are Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas.

         While Hawaiʻi is one of the most aggressive states in fighting COVID, it ranks as second highest overall in influenza and pneumonia death rate per capita, with only Mississippisuffering more. The reason, says the state Department of Health's Influenza Surveillance Program, is that the seasonal flu "is a common illness occurring every year primarily between the months of November and May," and that due to Hawaiʻi's "high volume tourism and tropical climates, we experience flu year round."


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    CORONAVIRUS-RELATED SCAMS TARGETING SENIORS are the target of Sen. Mazie Hirono, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and colleagues. They recently called upon Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons to boost consumer protection for seniors and take more measures to better inform them about these scams.

         The Senators cite reports that, during this time of heightened public fears, scammers are targeting seniors with fake coronavirus tests and vaccines. The letter notes that more needs to be done to protect seniors, who lose an estimated $3 billion annually from financial scams.

         "While the FTC has added information to its website to inform consumers about COVID-19 scams, we believe additional measures must be taken to educate seniors and provide consumers with information about how to seek recourse if they are targeted. Given the seriousness of this issue and the growing public health emergency, we urge the FTC to take action to better inform seniors about COVID-19-related fraud and assist victims in understanding their recourse options," the Senators wrote. Read the entire letter here.


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    THE STATE HEALTH PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT AGENCY has a new leader. Gov. David Ige announced the appointment this week. Serafin "Jun" Colmenares Jr. is the new administrator of SHPDA. He steps up from serving as acting administrator and SHPDA Comprehensive Health Planning Coordinator, providing staffing for health planning councils.

         As administrator, Colmenares oversees the state's Certificate of Need program, which regulates the construction, expansion, initiation, or modification of a health care facility or services in Hawaiʻi. He also oversees the state Health Services and Facilities Plan, which addresses health care needs for
    Serafin "Jun" Colmenares, Jr.
    inpatient care, healthcare facilities, and special needs. "The plan reflects the most economical and efficient system of care commensurate with adequate qualify of care, and includes standards for utilization of health care facilities and major medical equipment," says a statement from the governor.

         Bruce Anderson, health director, said, "Jun's expertise and wealth of experience in public health planning is a welcome addition to the Department of Health. His experience in capacity building and community collaboration will be highly beneficial for enhancing the health care needs of our island community."

         Under his direction, SHPDA is also responsible for collecting health care utilization data from providers across the state, which is produced into an annual Utilization Report. The report is used as a tool to assess health care services utilization, trends, needs, and costs by Certificate of Need applicants, providers, health market analysts, economists, researchers, etc.

         Colmenares holds a master's degree in public health from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in addition to master's and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Delhi in India. He also earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a graduate certificate in governmental management from MindanaoStateUniversityin the Philippines.

         Prior to joining SHPDA, Colmenares established and served as executive director of the Office of Language Access between 2007 and 2015. During that time, he earned the 2013 William J. Harris Equal Opportunity Award from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, for achieving a national standard of excellence in the development and implementation of an effective equal opportunity program in Hawaiʻi.

         Colmenares has also held positions at the Executive Office on Aging, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association, and East West Center Population Institute.

         The state Health Planning and Development Agency promotes accessibility for all the people of Hawaiʻi to quality health care services at reasonable cost. SHPDA supports the most economical and efficient use of the health care system and resources through coordinated community planning of new health care services and construction. For more information, visit health.hawaii.gov/shpda.


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    RESTORE OPEN GOVERNMENT is the message from Common Cause Hawaiʻi, which sent sent a letter today to Gov. David Ige and the state's four county mayors, signed by more than 40 groups and individuals. Hawaiʻi's open meetings and open records laws were suspended in mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which also prompted the governor to declare a statewide stay-at-home order.
         "We commend our Hawaiʻi elected leaders for recognizing the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and taking action to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the people of Hawaiʻi," states the letter drafted by Common Cause. "[But] in times of emergency, the Constitution is not suspended. In fact, it is needed even more."
         In an email to the governor and mayors, Common Cause Executive Director Sandy Ma described the letter as "from a broad range of groups and individuals regarding the need for transparency and democracy by government during times of crisis. We respectfully ask that government abide by these principles for the betterment of our republic."
         Signers include ACLU Hawaiʻi, the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action, the Health Committee of the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party of Hawaiʻi, the Media Council Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiʻi chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Hawaiʻi's Thousand Friends, the National Association of Social Workers-Hawaiʻi, the West Maui Taxpayers Association, and the Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi. See the four-page letter here.

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    UH Ag Extension agent Andrea Kawabata urges Kaʻū Coffee growers: "Don't let your guard down;"  by
    staying on top of CBB pests on the farms.  Photo by Julia Neal
    A MESSAGE TO FARMERS AND GROWERS came from University of Hawaiʻi Agricultural Extension Agent Andrea Kawabataon Tuesday:

         "I hope you are all doing well, staying healthy, and exercising due diligence by staying home and being courteous to others. YOU, Hawaiʻi's farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and gardeners are so important in keeping us fed, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is, however, an unfortunate time, and many, if not all of us, are being affected by the shut-down. We at CTAHR will continue to serve and support you to the best of our abilities.

         "If you have questions about your farm, trees, etc., please email me at andreak@hawaii.edu and provide me with a contact number if you'd rather discuss things over the phone. If you are noticing a problem or something unusual on your farm or plants, please send clear photos to my email, as I do not have a work cell phone. If you prefer, I do also have Zoom and Facetime. In trying to keep everyone safe and healthy, and to minimize contact/travel under the current orders from the governor, we can try doing a Zoom or Facetime farm visit too. Let's see how we can work with the current situation for the best outcomes."

         Kawabata also sent out a message to coffee farmers: "Don't let your guard down. Stay on top of your spraying to kill and manage CBB infestation levels. If you must, do a pre-harvest picking to remove mature green berries in which CBB has entered the seed and is in the C/D position. Spraying will not kill CBB in this position, and CBB will continue to develop and then infest surrounding berries."


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


    THE FOOD ACCESS COORDINATOR FOR COUNTY OF HAWAIʻI has released an updated collection of resources for farmers, to increase food access, and to bring awareness to existing community efforts. Those with additional resources can call Sarah Friedman at 808-961-8582. Financial assistance sponsors for farmers include:

         American Farmland Trust - Farmer Relief Program, which will provide up to $1,000 per farmer. 
         The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service plans to provide $27 million for  Farmers Markets And Local Food Projects to include direct-to-consumer projects.

         The Healy Foundation COVID-19 Response Grants will go to nonprofits in Oregonand Hawaiʻi. Maximum award is $25,000 and grants are 100 percent unrestricted. Applicants will provide their organization's budget and answer three brief questions. Click the link to learn more.

         Hawaiʻi Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Grants will be given to move resources quickly, forgoing a formal application process for the Fund. Email grants@hcf-hawaii.org.

         See more on farmer resources in future Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs and here.

    Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

    stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of April.

    All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled through the end of April.

    Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Thursday, April 30 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

    MOST UPCOMING EVENTS are cancelled for the month of April, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    ONGOING
    Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary weekdays through at least the end of April. Each youth must be present to receive a meal. Service is drive-up or walk-up, and social distancing rules (at least six feet away) are observed. Breakfast is served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

    St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen is open, with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org.


    The Food Basket Food Pantries:

         The Ocean View location is St. Jude's Episcopal Church at 92-8606 Paradise Circle Mauka, where The Food Basket provides 14 days of food per family, distributed the last Tuesday of the month from  to 

         The Nāʻālehu location is Sacred Hearts Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy where the The Food Basket provides the Loaves and Fishes program to distribute 14 days of food per family on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 928-8208.

         The Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street where The Food Basket provides the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry to give 14 days of food per family on the last Thursday of the Month at 11:30 a.m. Call 933-6030.

         The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road where The Food Basket provides 14 days of food per family to distribute on the last Thursday of the month at 3:30 p.m. Call Kehau at 443-4130.


    A Free Dinner for Those in Need is served at Volcano Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road every Thursday, by Friends Feeding Friends, between  and 


    On Call Emergency Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Monday through Friday,  It is operated by The Food Basket. Call 808-933-6030.

    The Next Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students is Monday, April 13. The packets are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can be picked up every two weeks. One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Please note the grade of each child. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home. Supplies will be given out simultaneously.
         Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying 6 feet away from others during pick-up. See the school website, naalehuel.hidoe.us, for more information and updates.

         Distribution in the Nāʻālehu area is at Nāʻālehu Elementary, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour Community Center. Distribution in Ocean View is at the county's Kahuku Park, the area in front of Malama Market, and Ocean ViewCommunity Center.

         At Nāʻālehu Elementary, campus pick-up will be from 9 a.m - 9:20 a.m. for A-H;  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         The Waiʻōhinu pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         The Discovery Harbour Community Center pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Morning distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Evening distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution in front of Malama Market are:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution at Ocean View Community Center are  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the Park and center reopen, and is available online for free download.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.



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    Take a look up tonight, with guidance from Stars Over Kaʻū, the monthly astronomy article by Lew and Donna Cook,
    below. Above, great detail of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. This is a barred spiral galaxy. It can be seen just using
    binoculars, as a fuzzy patch. A telescope will show it better. A bigger, larger telescope will show it better. Few
    telescopes can match the detail shown here. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team
    (STScI/AURA) Acknowledgement: William Blair (
    JohnsHopkinsUniversity)

    THE NEW INTERISLAND TRAVEL RULE IS IN EFFECT. The proclamation signed by Gov. David Ige and Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare Connors sets down penalties of up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Persons traveling between any of the islands are subject to a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine. All who travel interisland are required to fill out and sign an Interisland Declaration Form with: name; residential address; contact telephone number; and destination information. Travelers must indicate the purpose of the travel. The form can be completed prior to arriving at the airport.
         Quarantine exceptions are authorized for those traveling for short term stays for medical or health care, and for those working in essential services. Those persons are to remain in their travel residence unless performing necessary work functions or medical care. As long as they wear appropriate protective gear, and follow social distancing protocols  – keeping a distance of six feet from others, and using hand sanitizing procedures – upon return from their travel, they are not required to quarantine for 14 days.
         The 14-day quarantine also applies to anyone coming to the islands from out-of-state. Call Civil Defense at 935-0031 for clarification.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Dr. Scott Miscovich leads Coronavirus testing
    across the state. Photo from HPR
    "TESTING IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL IN OUR FIGHT TO DEFEAT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS," said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a live telephone town hall today. She was joined by Dr. Scott Miscovich, a physician who has been leading COVID-19 testing efforts and a senior adviser to Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Testing was the dominant theme of the evening, and the Congresswoman fielded questions from Hawaiʻi residents on topics ranging from protective measures for healthcare workers and medical supplies, to social distancing and economic assistance.
         "While testing numbers have increased, both here and across the country, we are nowhere near the scale of testing proven to be effective in countries like South Korea," said Gabbard.
         "Dr. Miscovich and his team who are conducting testing across the state are working very hard to improve access to testing so that we can better contain the virus. Just like healthcare professionals across the state, they are in dire need of masks and other personal protective equipment. I and many others are working hard every day to get them what they need so they can take care of all of us," said Gabbard.
         Listen to the complete Telephone Town Hall Event.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    SMALL BUSINESSES AND SOLE PROPRIETORSHIPS can apply for federal loans for relief during the coronavirus pandemic starting Friday. The loans will cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing Small Business Administration lenders. Independent contractors and those who are self-employed can begin applying April 10. Small businesses are given loans which will cover payroll, rent, utilities and other approved expenses for 8 weeks. This is immediate cash to retain or rehire employees on payroll and pay expenses. At the end of the eight weeks, or when this is over, they can show those expenses and that loan is forgiven, meaning they owe nothing.

         Sen. Brian Schatz said, "This new loan program will help Hawaiʻi small businesses meet their payroll and provide people with paychecks for up to eight weeks. It's important that people apply as soon as they can to make sure they have the help they need to ride this out."
         The new SBA Paycheck Protection Loan Program, created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, provides small businesses with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    A MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATION for the State of Hawaiʻi was signed by Pres. Donald Trump and announced by Sen. Mazie Hirono. The declaration will trigger the release of additional federal funds to help Hawaiʻi recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. "Combating the coronavirus pandemic will require us to marshal resources at the federal, state, and county level. Today's approval of the federal disaster declaration will unlock crucial federal resources to assist our state and county governments as they work to contain this growing threat," said Hirono.  


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    HAWAIʻI COUNTY WILL RECEIVE PART OF $5.5 MILLION in funding toward support of law officers during the coronavirus outbreak. The state will receive $5.5 million under the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant program. Congress passed an increase in JAG grant funding as part of the third coronavirus relief package, to help police officers and other first responders who are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

         Under the terms of the grant program, state and county governments may use the funding to support purchases of personal protective equipment, hire additional officers, pay overtime for officers working long hours, conduct training for officers, and address the medical needs of inmates in state and local prisons, among other critical uses.
    Personal protective equipment is a must at medical centers
    in Hawaiʻi, to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
    Photo from Hilo Medical Center
         Sen. Mazie Hirono said today, "Our state and local law enforcement and first responders have been on the front lines with our health care professionals in confronting this pandemic, and they need the appropriate tools, equipment, and resources to keep themselves safe as they assist others. This funding will help ensure that these first responders are able to continue protecting our community during this challenging time."

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


    DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Department of Health reports 10 active cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island as of today, April 1. The victims are quarantined at home with DOH monitoring. Since yesterday, two new cases have been confirmed by DOH. Eleven people confirmed with the virus on Hawaiʻi Island have recovered. No one here, infected by the virus, was hospitalized.
         Throughout the state, according to DOH, there are 258 cases, with 34 reported today. The one death was an elderly man who recently visited Las Vegas.  been one death. There are several possible community spread cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.
         According to Johns Hopkins University, the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was reported 68 days ago, on Jan. 22. Since then, the U.S. has reported 216,515 cases. Today, Wednesday, marked a daily death toll of over 1,000, with 5,116 deaths since January. The recovery number is 8,593.
         Worldwide, 937,170 people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is 47,235. The recovery total is 193,770. There are cases reported in 180 of 195 countries.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    PANDEMIC PRIORITIES, THINKING AHEAD is the title of the op-ed by former state Senator Gary Hooser, founder of HAPA, Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action. He writes:
          "While our first priority is personal health and then the economic realities of today, we must also at some point soon talk about what comes tomorrow. There is the "here and now" conversation of social distancing, travel bans, quarantines and the fundamental need to just stay at home. By now, most of us get it and we are staying home if able to do so.
          "Personally, I am ready to move on and accept that there are enough cooks in the kitchen. When there is a capacity for expanded statewide testing, I'm confident that the decision will be made. As the government can develop further rules on better enforcing the mandatory quarantine I am likewise sure that will happen. Banging on those in power trying to do their best only makes things worse. Likewise, hating on people just because they are driving a rental car or don't look local, or have pulled over to look at the ocean, is unacceptable.
         "We are better than this. Each of us needs to take another deep breath and remember yet once again, that we are all in this together.
         "The immediate task before us is taking care of our personal health, and the health of the greater community. That boils down to staying home. If we must go out to work or do essential tasks, we must take the appropriate steps to social distance, wash our hands, etc.
         "Following close behind protecting our health, is managing as best we can the economic realities of the moment. Again, we need to remember we are all in this together. If you are a renter who has lost their job, reach out and talk to your landlord. If you are a landlord, offer help if you can to your tenant and then likewise reach out to the bank who is awaiting your mortgage payment.
         "If you have lost your job or had to close your business, or if you need help just to pay your bills or put food on the table – you should do the research and apply now for the help that is available. If you are not sure where to start, let your friends and neighbors know of your situation. Someone, I am sure, will step up to help. After all, that is how we roll.
    Former state Senator Gary Hooser urges swift legislative
    action when it's time to look to the future.
    Photo from Hawaiʻi Public Radio
        "It's time now for the mortgage industry to simply reduce interest rates on existing mortgages, without forcing all to go through the refinance process. Ditto for credit card interest and student loans. While loan forbearance is helpful, temporarily deferring monthly payments is not enough. The federal government is shoveling trillions of dollars into the financial markets to keep them viable; that help must be directed also to the interest rates being charged on consumer debt and residential mortgages.
         "Soon we must engage the post-pandemic public policy, #pppp, conversation. At some point, the 2020 legislative session will reopen. When this happens, we as a community must ensure that key "moving forward" issues are addressed with the urgency they deserve.
         "The knee jerk legislative reaction to kickstarting the economy will be to invest in construction projects and reboot the visitor industry. Both must be done, but both must be done with mindfulness. We need a massive investment in basic infrastructure and affordable housing. We also need to support our friends and family in the visitor industry. But we need limits on growth, the industry must pay its fair share, and future visitors must be better informed as to the importance of respecting both our culture and our special places.
         "Construction and visitor jobs must be supported, but the current situation calls for much more.
    The fragility of our "supply chain" and the need for food self-sufficiency has never been so apparent. We must attack this challenge with the commitment it deserves.
         "With the wide availability of modern communication technology, there is no legitimate excuse to continue delaying the opportunity for meaningful public participation in state government, regardless of where you live. We need 'remote testimony' capability now.
         "Finally: Now is not the time to balance the state budget on the backs of the most economically vulnerable. Hard-earned and much-deserved tax credits and modest incremental wage increases must be preserved and, in fact, expanded. When the 2020 legislative session eventually is called back to order, these issues (and others) must be addressed with the urgency they deserve.This is not the time for our legislature to hunker down, do only the basics, and wait for the storm to pass. To the contrary, this is when we need them the most and I'm hopeful that leadership in the House and the Senate will, in fact, rise to the occasion."


    Dennis Peralta
    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    HELP LOCATING A MISSING KAʻŪ MAN is requested by Hawaiʻi Polic Department. Dennis Peralta is 52 years old, described as 5-feet-7-inches, 180 pounds, with a medium build, gray hair, brown eyes, and a mustache and goatee. He was last seen on Friday morning, March 27, wearing a shirt, gray sweat pants and slippers, walking in the 92-9200 block on Koa Lane in Hawaiian Ocean View Subdivision. He may be using a walking stick.

         Anyone who may have information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Police Department's non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Officer Russ Fiesta, of the Kaʻū Patrol Division, at (808) 939-2520.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    ONE LANE OF HIGHWAY ELEVEN WILL BE CLOSED from to weekdays, between Volcano and and Pahala, mile markers 30 to 40. Over the next six months, in phases, Hawaiian Electric will replace 189 transmission poles and equipment in the area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. One lane will be closed at a time to allow for traffic. Expect delays.

         Kristen Okinaka, spokeswoman for Hawaiian Electric's operations on Hawai‘i Island, said, "During this challenging time, we know the community is counting on us to keep the lights on. Continuing to provide safe and reliable power is our priority. Our crews and contractors will practice social distancing on the job and there should be no interaction with the public. It's part of the critical work that continues, especially in advance of hurricane season, including tree trimming, replacement of equipment, and system resilience work that is difficult to reschedule."

         Once the line construction is completed, the replaced poles will be removed via helicopter. Work is expected to be done by Sept. 30, weather permitting.
         For questions or concerns, call 969-6666.


    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    APPLICATIONS FOR A COMPOST REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM are due by April 30. Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for invoices dated July 1, 2019to March 31, 2020. Reimbursement is 50 percent of the compost cost with a $50,000 cap per farm. Only for-profit businesses may qualify. Compost must be purchased from a certified processor, retailer, or wholesaler licensed to do business in Hawaiʻi, regulated under the Hawaiʻi Department of Health's Solid Waste Management Program. Qualified applicants must also provide a W-9 tax form, sample invoice, and proof of compliance with federal, state, and county tax and business regulations.

         Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture, said, "The reimbursement program is aimed at providing assistance to farmers to ease some of the operational cost relating to the purchase of composting material."

         For more information and to download the application forms, go to hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/compostreimbursement.



    How to use this map: Hold this map over your head so that the northern horizon points toward the north on the Earth. 
    For best results, use a red flashlight to illuminate the map. If you are looking east, hold it in front of you so that east is 
    on the bottom. For south views, south at the bottom, and for west, west at the bottom. Use this map at the times shown 
    on in its upper left corner. Keep this page handy and show it to your keiki next month. They probably have bedtimes 
    before the time of the chart shown here. The constellations are presented with their 3-letter abbreviations, their 
    common names shown in the margins. This is done to take advantage of the truly dark skies Ka‘ū is blessed with 
    when there is no bright moon and the skies are clear of vog. The star charts are produced from a sky Atlas 
    program written by Jerry Hudson, who has given us permission to publish it. Thank you, Jerry.

    STARS OVER KA‘Ū - April 2020, by Lew & Donna Cook:

         The Sun and Planets

         The sun still has its low sunspot count, with low numbers of sunspots in March, continuing its period of few or no sunspots. To illustrate what the sun looks like when there are lots of spots, including a whopper of a spot, look at the picture here. The current solar image is essentially spot-free.

         Venus is the "evening star", shining brilliantly in the west after sunset. It sets just before chart time (). The cold gaseous (visible) planets rise between 3 and 4 hours after chart time. Jupiter will rise around and Saturn rises around Mars, a non-gaseous rocky globe, will rise a slight bit more than an hour after Jupiter, just past The later risers are in Capricorn with Jupiter approaching the Sagittarius-Capricorn boundary.

         Constellations and Deep Sky Objects

         Betelgeuse, the star in the Orion's right shoulder (the red star further up) seems to have stopped its fading, so all may be well there. Betelgeuse is a variable star, but this is as faint as it has been in 170 years. Sometime in the future, Betelgeuse will explode as an extremely bright supernova, but it doesn't appear that this fading episode was all that out of the ordinary.

    This is a photo of the sun's surface taken in 2003, when the 
    largest spot in the 2000's appeared. The tiny (blue and white) 
    dot represents the size of the earth. Credit: NASA/SOHO

         Virgo (the Virgin) is prominent high in our eastern sky this spring with blue-white Spica its brightest star. It follows Leo (the Lion) so our attention turns to galaxies. There are lots of them! Virgo and the hindquarters of Leo have many, but this month we'll look at another one.

         In the east, in the constellation Hydra (the Water Snake) and very near the border with Centaurus (the Centaur) is a beautiful spiral nebula, called the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. It is a barred spiral galaxy, as is our home, the Milky Way Galaxy. It took many studies to discern that the Milky Way was a barred spiral galaxy, because we "couldn't see the forest for the trees." The Southern Pinwheel's location is shown on this month's star chart.
         This galaxy is relatively close at 15 million light years distant. It has many star forming regions in it, like the Orion nebula. It is the prominent member of a group of galaxies, called the M83 group.

         Fridays Sunriseand Sunset times:

    Date                 Sunrise                  Sunset

    April    

    April  

    April   17       

    April   24       

    The times of sunrise and sunset change about the same as last month.

         Moon Phases

    Date                    Moonrise        Moonset

    First Quarter

    April   **

    Full Moon

    April   **

    Last Quarter

    April  14             

    New Moon

    April   23              

    First Quarter

    April   30             **

    **next morning

         Local Attractions
         The ‘Imiloa Planetarium in Hilo is closed until at least April 30.

    throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on stands throughout the
     district. Read online at kaucalendar.com and facebook.com/kaucalendar.
    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of April.


    MOST EVENTS ARE CANCELLED for the month of April, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The state is under a stay-at-home order, with l4 days of quarantine required for anyone coming into the state. Interisland travel is restricted. Those in Hawaiʻi should stay at home unless needing to obtain food or medical care.


    ONGOING
    Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary weekdays through at least the end of April. Each youth must be present to receive a meal. Service is drive-up or walk-up, and social distancing rules (at least six feet away) are observed. Breakfast is served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

    St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen is open, with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org.

    The Food Basket Food Pantries:

         The Ocean View location is St. Jude's Episcopal Church at 92-8606 Paradise Circle Mauka, where The Food Basket provides 14 days of food per family, distributed the last Tuesday of the month from  to 

         The Nāʻālehu location is Sacred Hearts Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy where the The Food Basket provides the Loaves and Fishes program to distribute 14 days of food per family on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 928-8208.

         The Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street where The Food Basket provides the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry to give 14 days of food per family on the last Thursday of the Month at 11:30 a.m. Call 933-6030.

         The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road where The Food Basket provides 14 days of food per family to distribute on the last Thursday of the month at 3:30 p.m. Call Kehau at 443-4130.


    A Free Dinner for Those in Need is served at Volcano Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road every Thursday, by Friends Feeding Friends, between  and 


    On Call Emergency Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Monday through Friday,  It is operated by The Food Basket. Call 808-933-6030.

    Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students begins Monday, March 30. The packets are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can be picked up every two weeks. One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Please note the grade of each child. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home. Supplies will be given out simultaneously.
         Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying 6 feet away from others during pick-up. See the school website, naalehuel.hidoe.us, for more information and updates.

         Distribution in the Nāʻālehu area is at Nāʻālehu Elementary, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour Community Center. Distribution in Ocean View is at the county's Kahuku Park, the area in front of Malama Market, and Ocean ViewCommunity Center.

         At Nāʻālehu Elementary, campus pick-up will be from 9 a.m - 9:20 a.m. for A-H;  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         The Waiʻōhinu pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         The Discovery Harbour Community Center pick-up:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Morning distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Evening distribution at Kahuku Park for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution in front of Malama Market are:  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

         Times for distribution at Ocean View Community Center are  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

    Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

    Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.

         Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
         Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.

         Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
         Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
         See ohialehuahalf.com.

    Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the Park and center reopen, and is available online for free download.

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