Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, March 30, 2020

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.

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.

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."

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 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 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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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