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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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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.

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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