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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, April 2, 2020

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Pāhala Post Office today separated customers from staff at the counter with a clear plastic curtain and a blue-taped
access to the counter for transactions. See more below on plastics protecting people. Photo by Julia Neal
THE SECOND DEATH from COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi was announced on Thursday by the state Department of Health. The victim who died yesterday was a woman in her 50s who lived on Oʻahu.

     Gov. David Ige offered condolences from himself and his wife to the family of the deceased: "Today, our community received the tragic news of the passing of a second Hawaiʻi resident from the COVID-19 virus. Dawn and I express our deepest condolences to the victim's family and friends.

     "As we come together with expressions of sympathy and support – we must also remember to help each other, to protect your health and the health of loved ones and your community. Let's all do our part to get Hawaiʻi through this challenging time."
     State Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson called the low death rate in Hawaiʻi "remarkable... The case fatality rate in Hawaiʻi, or anywhere in the world, is expected to be about two to three per hundred. Considering the fact that we've had 285 cases (as of Thursday), we would expect that five or six people would've passed away from symptoms from this virus."
     Molokaʻi's first case was also reported today - a man who may have traveled recently. Also sick with COVID-19 are some military personnel on Oʻahu. The mayor of Oʻahu recommended today that everyone wear a simple homemade or purchased face mask, but to refrain from using those needed by health professionals.

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 nine active cases of COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi Island as of Thursday, April 2. One case is new. In addition, 13 people are recovered.
The statewide total of those who have been infected is 285.

     According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded more than 245,000 cases. The death toll in the U.S. is more than 6,000. The recovery number is over 9,000.
     Worldwide, more than one million people have become victims of COVID-19. The death toll is more than 53,000. The recovery total is over 211,000. There are cases reported in 181 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.

Thursday morning, all benches and picnic tables at
Mizuno Superette were wrapped in plastic to prevent
the regular early gathering of coffee drinkers.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE LAW BANNING PLASTIC BAGS FOR SHOPPING IS SUSPENDED by Mayor Harry Kim. The idea is to prevent COVID-19 from spreading from cloth and other bags that people bring into stores. The temporary suspension is expected to remain in place for Hawaiʻi County during the pandemic. On Wednesday, the mayor suspended Hawaiʻi County Code Chapter 14, Article 20, called Plastic Bag Reduction. He said it will be a "short-term-thing" and explained that people bringing their own bags to the checkout counter allows more hands to touch the area and possibly spread the disease.

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.

PLASTIC IN PĀHALA PROTECTED MORE PEOPLE TODAY. The U.S. Post Office hung a clear plastic curtain to shield the postal workers and public from one another. Mizuno Superette wrapped its outdoor talk story benches and picnic tables in plastic to keep members of the public, mostly seniors, from gathering there. A sign posted above the benches says, "Maintain a distance of six feet away,""Stay out of crowded areas,""Do not loiter, socialize, or lounge here," and that "Police will be monitoring."

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 RANKS TWELFTH IN THE COUNTRY for losing the most jobs per capita due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a WalletHub report released Thursday, Hawaiʻi's unemployment for the first four months in 2020 increased almost 4,000 percent. The increase from this January to March is over 2,500 percent. The states with the highest unemployment due to the pandemic are Louisiana, North Carolina, Indiana, New Hampshire, and Florida. The states were employment is least affected are Oregon, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Alaska.
     A record 6.6 million unemployment claims were made during the week of March 23 nationwide. See more on the WalletHub story here.

By afternoon, one bench at Mizuno Superette in Pāhala was open for one or two people to rest for short periods of time.
A group of kids sat down and soon read the sign that says "Police will be monitoring." They got up and scurried away.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE HOʻALA ASSISTANCE PROGRAM went on line Thursday, offering a one time payment of up to $1,000 to families in need of funds to pay for mortgage, rent, utilities, and certified childcare services. To be eligible, one must be at least 18 years of age, a Hawaiʻi resident, and demonstrate a loss of income and/or increased financial need directly resulting from COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will go directly to the vendors to whom the expenses are owed. The funding for Hoʻala assistance comes from the Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund and Council for Hawaiian Advancement. See hawaiiancouncil.org/hoala.

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.

STATE SEN. KAI KAHELE hosted a virtual town hall about COVID-19 on Sunday with Dan Brinkman of Hilo Medical Center and Esther Kiaʻaina of the Pacific Basin Development Council. Watch the full video here. He also recommends a COVID-19 website on available resources.

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.

SERVICE DISCONNECTIONS AND LATE PAYMENT FEES are suspended through April 30 for all Department of Water Supply customers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The utility states "scammers may try to defraud DWS' customers during this pandemic by threatening to shutoff service unless a payment is made." For those who receive one of these demands, hang up and contact DWS' Customer Service at 808-961-8060.

     DWS is also extending the suspension of in-person payment collections and customer service inquiries through April 30. During this period, DWS will accept only telephone, online, auto-payment, mail, or payments left in a secured DWS payment dropbox. Pay a bill online at hawaiidws.org. Pay by telephone toll-free at 844-216-1994. There are no fees for these services. Questions? Call 808-961-8060 (Hilo), 808-322-0600 (Kona), or email dws@hawaiidws.org.

     An email from the utility states: "DWS is committed to provide essential, safe, and reliable water service to our customers, businesses, and communities. During this unprecedented and challenging time, DWS has modified employee work schedules and increased hygiene practices to keep its workers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay healthy and do your part to prevent the spread of this virus! … Water, Our Most Precious Resource... Ka Wai A Kāne..."

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 FREE APP FOR FINDING AND PREPARING WILD FOODS growing in Hawaiʻi has been launched by Hawaiʻi Farmers Union member Sunny Savage. The first Savage Kitchen app provides educational learning modules, photographs, and videos to support the user in the knowledge and identification of five wild and invasive plant species – strawberry guava, butterfly ginger, spanish needles, wild amaranth, and java plum – commonly found in the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical and subtropical locations around the globe. 
Sunny Savage shares her guides to wild, edible plants in
Hawaiʻi, with recipes. See sunnysavage.com.
     Using GPS mapping technology and crowd-sourced data provided by users, the app makes it easy for foragers to locate and access edible plants on a landscape near them. Users can use dozens of simple recipes to turn the foraged plants they've harvested into nutrient-rich meals. The focus in initially on the Hawaiian Islands, but the crowd-sourced, location-based features of the app can work anywhere around the globe.
     "Food is literally growing all around us," said Savage. "I created this app as a bridge, connecting people with the most abundantly found wild foods – all of which are highly invasive species – in our ecosystems. This innovative approach to community land management prepares us to better handle crises like COVID-19, hurricanes, and other unforeseeable challenges.
     "COVID-19 has most of the state sheltering in place, so why not learn to harvest healthy wild foods found growing in your own backyard?" asks Savage. "I'm offering the Savage Kitchen app for free because this is a very real solution that will put free food and medicine into the hands of the people in a very short time. We are preparing for the impacts of global climate change, and this is my gift to humanity and for the health of our planet."
     Savage, founder of Savage Kitchen, is an internationally recognized forager, host of the TV series Hot on the Trail with Sunny Savage, and author of Wild Food Plants of Hawaiʻi (CreateSpace, 2015). Her work in promoting use of edible invasive species through technology, recipe development, and education was called "ground-breaking" by Edible Hawaiian Islands.
Wild and edible in Hawaiʻi, plants are all around that
can be prepared for food and medicine. A new app
provides a guide. Photo from sunnysavage.com
     Visit sunnysavage.com for more on the Savage Kitchen app, screenshots, demo videos, complimentary foraging guides, and digital products such as e-Books.
     App Store (iOS), apps.apple.com
/us/app/savage-kitchen/id1442332843; Google Play Store (Android), play.google.com/
store/apps/details?id=com.savagekitchen.
Find video tutorial on how to use the app at
youtu.be/obzAUrgbLxA.

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.

SIGNING UP TO TAKE THE BAR EXAM TO BECOME AN ATTORNEY IN HAWAIʻI has been extended until May 1. The state bar exam is postponed from July 28-29 until Fall, with dates to be announced later. The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court issued a statement about the delay, pointing to the COVID-19 public health emergency and agreement from the Hawaiʻi Board of Bar Examiners.

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.

TEACHING ONLINE SAFETY AND ENCOURAGING DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP to at-home students during the pandemic are goals of the state Department of Education. According to a statement from DOE, it encourages students to use technology to allow their voices to be heard by public leaders and to shape public policy to help better their communities. It also teaches students how to engage in respectful online conversation and how to determine validity of online information.
     DOE encourages families to become "engaged partners in cultivating responsibility and digital citizenship." This can be achieved by understanding how students are spending time online, monitoring their usage, and setting up the "appropriate parental controls" on devices.
     Resources that can help in this endeavor include:
     Hawai‘i Internet Crimes Against Childrenwebsite, which contains education and prevention resources to protect children in cyberspace. The resources are designed for various ages and grade levels and include interactive games, videos, safety and prevention tips, guidelines and reporting information: ag.hawaii.gov/hicac/, ag.hawaii.gov/cpja/ccp/internetsafety/, ag.hawaii.gov/hicac/safety-tips/.

     Chromebooks Google Family Link can help parents and guardians better understand how children explore online, as well as help manage their accounts and compatible devices: safety.google/families/parental-supervision/.
     Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, for Apple products, can block or limit specific apps and features; limit or restrict explicit content, purchases, and downloads; and protect privacy: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304, support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/family-comes-first-mchl4a732a3b/10.15/mac/10.15. For Windows 10 devices, see support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12439/microsoft-account-set-contentrestrictions-on-windows-10-and-xbox-one.


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.

WALK-IN VOTING FOR THE APRIL 4 HAWAIʻI DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY IS CANCELLED statewide. The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi reminds the public that, due to the pandemic, all voting is by mail. The new deadline for ballots to be returned is Friday, May 22. The party requests that, once a ballot is received, it be returned as soon as possible. The ballots will be counted on May 23.
     For those enrolled in the party before March 8 who have not yet received a ballot: Go to olvr.hawaii.gov and confirm registration to vote in Hawaiʻi and mailing address with the State Office of Elections are correct. If address was not correct, update, then call 888-317-1906 to request a new ballot. If mailing address is correct or the ballot was lost or damaged, call 888-317-1906 to request a new ballot be sent.

     For those who enrolled in the party after March 8, ballots will be mailed in the newly planned third mailing and should arrive around May 2.

     For more, see hawaiidemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/PPP-Updated-FAQs.pdf.

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 14-DAY FAMILY DISTRIBUTION FOR OCEAN VIEW will be on Tuesday, April 14 at Ocean View Community Center parking lot, 92-8924 Leilani Circle, 11 a.m to 1 p.m.. The location has been switched from St. Jude's Episcopal Church.

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.

MAUNA LOA VOLCANO is not erupting. The mauna's Alert Level is ADVISORY, Aviation Color Code is YELLOW. Rates of deformation and seismicity have not changed significantly over the past week and remain above long-term background levels.
     During the past week, HVO seismometers recorded 47 small-magnitude earthquakes on the volcano's summit and upper-elevation flanks. Most of these earthquakes occurred at shallow depths of less than 8 kilometers (~5 miles) below ground level. The largest earthquake was a magnitude 2.1 on the volcano's northwest flank.
     Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show continued slow summit inflation, consistent with magma supply to the volcano's shallow storage system.
     Gas concentrations at the Sulphur Cone monitoring site on the Southwest Rift Zone remain stable. Fumarole temperatures as measured at both Sulphur Cone and the summit have not changed significantly.
     For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa Volcano, see volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna_loa/monitoring_summary.html.


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 
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 Distribution, where families can receive 14 days of food per family:

     The Ocean View location for April, scheduled for Tuesday, April 14 will be at OceanView Community Center parking lot, 92-8924 Leilani Circle, 1 to 

     The Nāʻālehu location is Sacred Hearts Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy, under their Loaves and Fishes program, 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, distributed by the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry, 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 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 will be 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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