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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, April 12, 2020

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Walking through the county park to reach the shoreline to run, walk, swim, snorkel, and surf is allowed, but
hanging at the beach during the pandemic is prohibited. Photo by Julia Neal
KAʻŪ - VOLCANO PUBLIC SCHOOL CAMPUSES COULD REOPEN after four weeks without new COVID-19 cases islandwide. The state Department of Education, which oversees public schools throughout the island, gave its assessment to school administrators late last week. While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Volcano nor Kaʻū, to date, school closures will remain until the entire island is deemed safe.
     The strategy does mean that schools in counties with fewest COVID-19 cases, like Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi, could reopen sooner than more densely populated districts like Maui and Oʻahu, which have experienced more cases.
     Reopening decisions will also consider schools retaining sufficient workforce, mitigation procedures for COVID-19 spread, cleaning protocols, and general health of student and staff populations. Reopening schools could be staggered, leading up to full-time on-campus classes, and reintroducing sports, extra-curricular programs, and visitors on campus, as well as public use of campus facilities.
     DOE encourages registering for Summer school programs, without guarantee that schools will be open. Current distance learning plans may be used during Summer programs.
Kaʻū High School graduation during the volcanic eruption disaster
 in 2018. Photo by Julia Neal
     Read the 30-page guidelines and assessment from DOE.

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GRADUATION FROM HAWAIʻI'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS, and final Grade Point Average, will be based primarily on first through third quarter grades. Students on track to graduate based on those grades will be allowed to graduate. Students with grades below proficiency "will be provided with opportunities to earn credit. Remediation and intervention may be provided at the earliest date possible with teachers and counselors at the respective schools finding solutions for those students," according to a document sent to schools from the state Department of Education.
     The DOE will issue a decision by this Wednesday, April 15 on whether to hold traditional on site commencement ceremonies.
     For students in Advanced Placement, tests will be administered online. For those wishing to take the Armed Services Vocational Battery Test, students are encouraged to contact a recruiter.
     The DOE document states: "The extended school closure may have seniors and their families feeling that some of the best parts of their senior year have been or will be lost. With students experiencing uncertainty about
Kaʻū High graduation with keynote speaker Navy Capt. addressing a large crowd. Photo by Julia Neal
end-of-year and rites of passage activities along with general stress caused by these transitional times, school support teams shall explore alternative 'virtual' student support services. Virtual support services will also provide a systematic means to maintain a connection with students."
     Graduating to the next grade at public schools will largely be determined by GPA from the first three quarters with remediation and prevention programs provided.
     Read the 30-page guidelines and assessment from DOE at  hawaiipublicschools.org/DOE%20Forms/Emergencies/HIDOEGuidanceLongTermSchoolClosure.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.

Punaluʻu Beach Park is closed by the county during the pandemic, but people can walk through the park to run,
walk, or swim, without stopping to lie in the sun or talk to others. Photo by Julia Neal
CLARIFICATION ON COUNTY BEACH PARK use to access the ocean to swim, and reach the shoreline, to walk and run, came from Mayor Harry Kim's office at the end of last week. The parks remain closed for picnicking, camping, and any kind of gathering. People are allowed to cross parks to the ocean but not allowed to sit, stand and talk with one another, lounge or lie down on the beach, or otherwise loiter. Violators face a warning or outright arrest. Penalties for breaking emergency rules are up to a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
     People are also allowed to run, walk, and stroll on safe shoulders along county and state roads.
     James Komata, Deputy Director of the county Department of Parks & Recreation, told the Hawaiʻi Tribune Herald that "Going through the park is technically not permitted. But that's something we're having meetings about, looking to resolve it."
Walking, running, and strolling, and with a pet on leash, are allowed along
safe shoulders of county and state roads and highways during the
pandemic. This grassy shoulder on the entrance road to Pāhala
displays a safe area to exercise. Photo by Julia Neal
     According to the Tribune Herald's story on Sunday morning, "As sort of a compromise, Komata and Kim said traveling through parks in order to reach beaches is permissible, so long as the people doing so don't linger within the park."
     Komata told reporter Michael Brestovansky, "If you want to run along the beach or swim, that's fine. Just come back immediately when you're done."
     The mayor added that sunlight and ocean water are "beautiful allies" in combating COVID-19 and called saltwater a "natural detergent."
     Restrooms at Kaʻū's two county beach parks, Punaluʻu and Honuʻapo - Whittington Beach Park remain closed.

   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.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS for Kaʻū are on the horizon. CIP's are the focus of first steps for pandemic economic recovery for Hawaiʻi, according to the state House of Representatives Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. East Kaʻū's Rep. Richard Onishi is on the committee, which met last week and issued a statement.
     The long awaited Kalae water system, with a 100,000 gallon water tank, to serve Department of Hawaiian Home Lands pastoral lessees in the South Point area, is partially funded. Roofing and air conditioning at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary; air conditioning at Nāʻālehu Elementary and Pāhala Public Library; and boundary work for Kaʻū Forest Reserve, are among already-funded projects. Hawaiʻi Island could see at least $345 million in CIP activity, including improvements at Kona and Hilo airports.
     Projected "shovel ready" Capital Improvement Projects under consideration by the House Committee would put $2.8 billion into the economy statewide. The legislature has already funded $1.3 billion.
     The next meeting is set for tomorrow, Monday, April 13, with more discussion on reopening the economy. See more on the committee, including agendas, documents, and transcripts, 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.

More infrastructure projects like this bridge building in Kaʻū are in the pipeline to reboot the economy.
Photo by Julia Neal
HOW TO BRING BACK THE ECONOMY? That's the question from Carl Bonham, Executive Director of the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaiʻi. UHERO'S new report, How to Control Hawaiʻi's Coronavirus Epidemic and Bring back the Economy: The Next Steps, sets out a plan. It recommends putting in place a system of COVID-19 contact tracing, testing, and isolation for positive cases. After the system successfully operates for several weeks, gradual relaxation of the stay-at-home and social distancing restrictions could be allowed. However, the local economy needs to be restarted before the relaunching of tourism, recommends UHERO.
     Bonham said the local economy can restart before tourists arrive and before a COVID-19 vaccine is created and disseminated. He said that before tourists arrive, the mainland should have the disease under control. Hawaiʻi residents must be assured any visitors are COVID-19-free, he said.

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.

Boys & Girls Club began sending out food to keiki, kūpuna, and the needy
on March 23 and is hoping to start meal service to Kaʻū this week.
Photo from Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO BRING MEALS FROM HILO TO NĀʻĀLEHU for Boys & Girls Club members. People from Kaʻū working in Hilo, who could stop by the main Boys & Girls Club on any weekday at 3 p.m., could help out. Boys & Girls Club CEO Brad Cabral said he is "putting out a kāhea to see if anyone would like to volunteer to drive some of our Community Support Meals to BGCBI staff for Pāhala and Ocean View youth member distribution. Volunteers would have to leave our Hilo-Boys & Girl Club kitchen at 3 p.m. with (their) personal vehicle and make the drive out to meet our staff in Nāʻālehu." He said he is looking for five volunteers to take one day a week until the initiative ends - post COVID - as the State of Hawaiʻi allows kids to return back to school.
     Volunteer vehicles will need to be able to carry two to three large bins that will contain the meals.
     Boys & Girls club wants to begin deliveries sometime this week. "Please let me know if you are able to help and take on this kuleana," said Cabral who can be contacted at 808-961-5536 or chad@bgcbi.org.

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.
Keiki dancers, taught in the Pāhala school by Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder, displayed their skills at last year's 
Kaʻū Unity Celebration. Photo by Julia Neal
Kaʻū Life: The Way We Were Last Year
A Weekend Feature of The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper
Last year, this time, Kaʻū was experiencing a different kind of unity. While this year people all over the world hunker down in unity to flatten the curve of the COVDI-19 pandemic, last year, Unity was the theme of the third annual Kaʻū Unity Celebration. Held at Kaʻū District Gym and organized by The Collective – a group of students aided by nonprofit, government agencies, and local businesses – brought together health, social services, and youth opportunity organizations. Kaʻū Unity Celebration showcased student hula and music, and food from the culinary class of Kaʻū High School.
Bay Clinic staff presented educational materials 
and gave away pedometers. Photo by Julia Neal

     Attendees included many Kaʻū families with their keiki, along with Mayor Harry Kim and major sponsor Ed Olson.
     Kaʻū's community police officer Shawn Ibarra and retired community police officer Bill Doar photographed children and issued their free keiki IDs.
     Kaʻū High's culinary class, led by ʻĀina Akamu, cooked for the crowd to raise funds for a trip to Japan.
     Kumu hula Debbie Ryder presented her Pāhala students' dancing.

     Health organizations provided free blood pressure tests, new opportunities to receive medical care, family and veterans assistance, and counseling.

     Family therapist Joe Soong from Child & Family Services answered questions about families and the courts, foster homes, and treatment services.
     Dr. Gaku Yamaguchi and Bernie Freitas talked about Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi's physician services, with expectations of bringing doctors to patients' homes. The Hui Mālama crew promoted transportation services, classes in Kaʻū on diabetes management, hypertension, nutrition, and a program called Healthy at Any Size. They shared information on health education and screenings, pregnancy, immunizations, exercise and fitness, support groups, and traditional Hawaiian health practices.
     Ulu Makuakane introduced the Pain Injury and BrainCenters of America's Myoneurovascular Therapy, with treatments previously used mostly by professional athletes.

Aukai and Kamele McDaniel promoted the Junior Ranger program 
for high school students. Photo by Julia Neal

     Maricar Souza, BSB, a Veteran Outreach Specialist, shared a vast array of veterans' programs, from health care initiatives, to golf, tai chi, yoga, art, poetry, equine therapy, paddle boarding, and veteran fishing groups.
     Kupono McDaniel, Youth and Volunteer Programs Coordinator at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, presented the history of the Youth Ranger Program, which was in its tenth year, providing training and work for Kaʻū High School students.

     Dolly Kailiawa presented art from Boys & GirlsClubBigIsland members, inspired by the diversity of the Kaʻū community and Kaʻū's Special Places.
     Nona Makuakane, of countyParks& Recreation, helped to sign up keiki for the Summer Fun program.
     PARENTS, Inc. presented Restoring Hope programs, with group meetings for children and teens, and their caregivers.
     Bay Clinic presented its many medical and dental services, and handed out educational materials along with free pedometers, to help keep track of the number of steps taken for exercise.
     Tūtū & Me explained its mobile classroom for preschool children and their families.
     Kamehameha School reached out with offers of programs.
Kaʻū Boys & Girls Club Big Island members collaborated on art that was exhibited at the third annual Kaʻū Unity celebration, last year. The piece on the left is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech.
The piece on the right is inspired by Kaʻū's Special Places. Photos 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.

EIGHT ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi Island on Easter Sunday, reports Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense. From these, 25 have been cleared as recovered by the Department of Health, and the remaining eight "are quarantined at home and closely monitored by your Department of Health." At this date, no one tested positive had to be hospitalized, no one died, and no cases were reported from Kaʻū or Volcano.

Civil Defense director Talmadge Magno.
Photo from Big Island Video News
     Talmadge Magno, Civil Defense director, reminds the public that the policies of Stay at Home, Physical Distancing, and Gathering remain in effect. "These policies all have one major goal; to simply minimize people spreading the virus or getting the virus. This is why you are asked to wear a mask. Just as important and within these policies, stay physically and emotionally healthy. Fresh air, sunlight, exercise, cleanliness, and social connectiveness are what you can do. I say again, within these policies, stay physically and emotionally healthy. Fresh air, sunlight, exercise, cleanliness, and social connectiveness are what you can do. Have a Happy Easter and much Aloha! This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense."

     Statewide, 13 new cases were reported today, all adult residents, bringing the total to 499. Nine deaths, all on Oʻahu or Maui, have been reported, with 310 people being let out of isolation after having tested positive.

     The state Department of health warns: "The discovery of an official looking warning poster, put up in West O‘ahu, prompts a reminder that people should check with official sources like the Dept. of Health or the Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center to determine whether any posted information is accurate. People should refrain from creating any type of 'official' seeming posters, pamphlets, documents, or social media posts, as they can mislead people."

     In the U.S., over nearly 560,000 people have tested positive for the virus. More than 22,000 have died, leaving U.S. with the highest death toll in the world. The majority of those deaths – almost 10,000 – are from New York. The recovery total is over 33,000.

     Worldwide, there are more than 1.85 million cases of COVID-19 in over 200 countries. More than 114,000 people have died. 2.8 million have recovered.



Read online at kaucalendar.comSee Kaʻū events, meetings, entertainmentSee Kaʻū exercise,
meditation, daily, bi-weekly, and weekly recurring events. Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar 
is free, with 7,500 distributed on stands and to all postal addresses throughout Kaʻū, from 
Miloliʻi through Volcano throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com and 
facebook.com/kaucalendar. To advertise your business or
your social cause, contact kaucalendarads@gmail.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.

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 and at Nāʻālehu 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. Food is being delivered to Ocean View.

Nāʻālehu El. cafeteria staff prepares free lunches for kids 18 and under. Left to right
 are Food Services Manager Eileen Naboa, kitchen helper Jame Oyama, baker Thomas
 Kahihikolo, and cook Cecelia Ito. Photo from Nāʻālehu Elementary School
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 Tuesday, April 14 will be held at the lot across from St. Jude's Episcopal Church, 92-8606 Paradise Mauka Circle, 
     The Nāʻālehu location is Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy, under their Loaves and Fishes program, on Thursday, April 23 from  to  Call 928-8208.

     The Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street, distributed by the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry, on Thursday, April 30 at  Call 933-6030.
     The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road Thursday, April 30 at  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 tomorrow, 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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