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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, April 19, 2020

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Fely Viegas, of Pāhala, grows food at home and also takes care of this garden at Pāhala Senior Center,
growing corn, fruits, and vegetables for kūpuna. With Earth Day this Wednesday, many organizations offer
ideas and education for food self-sufficiency and appreciation of nature. See more below. Photo by Lora Botanova

STACY HIGA ANNOUNCED HIS CANDIDACY FOR MAYOR of Hawaiʻi County today. Higa is a former member of the County Council. Over the last five years as President & Chief Executive Officer of the island's only public access television station, Nā Leo TV, "he has transformed the once underperforming organization into one of the leading public access media centers in the country," says his campaign kick-off statement.
     Higa announced, "Our campaign has officially started, and I would like to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm. This campaign will be different from other campaigns. Coronavirus 2019 may have disrupted our way of life, but we will not let it change the 'soul' of our community."
Stacy Higa announces a run for Hawaiʻi Island Mayor.
     The statement says that Higa "knows that if we work together to support a vibrant Hawaiʻi Island, our communities and industries will not only co-exist, they will thrive in these times. In the coming weeks, Stacy will be engaging residents and businesses across our island to learn of the challenges they are facing and the issues that matter to them."
     Said Higa, "Now more than ever, we need bold and dedicated leadership to guide our County through these turbulent times and towards a brighter future. I believe that I have the vision and the experience to be that leader."
     He said that the next Mayor will be tasked with a range of challenges, like affordable housing, rising unemployment claims, and much-needed infrastructure improvements. "Stacy has the experience and the mindset to tackle the bureaucratic problems that have plagued our county government for far too long," reads the statement.
     Higa said, "Business as usual is no longer acceptable. If elected, I am committed to making sure that our island and our communities will be made whole again. This cannot happen unless we re-imagine Government and make it more responsive to the needs of our residents. One island, one future isn't a dream – it's a promise!"
     Higa was born and raised in Hilo, and is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama Campus. He is a small business owner and manages Nā Leo TV. As a former County Council Member, he represented Keaukaha, Panaʻewa, and the greater Waiākea area, serving as Chair of the Council from 2004-2006.
     His campaign organization is Friends of Stacy Higa, 720 Laukapu St., Hilo, HI 96720, Laura Fujimoto, Treasurer.
     Among others who announced a run for the mayorship are County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, Wendell Kaehuaea, and Tante Urban. A Facebook page for Ikaika Marzo promotes him to become the next mayor. Mayor Harry Kim has yet to announce whether he will run again for the office and his fourth term as mayor.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE ONE COVID-19 PATIENT IN KAʻŪ REMAINS UNKNOWN TO THE PUBLIC. Also in question is whether the person is a visitor, a local who traveled, or someone who connected with a visitor or worked with someone with coronavirus. The person is somewhere in the vast rural area identified by the zip code 96772, which includes Discovery Harbour, Mark Twain, Green Sands, Kalae, Kamaoa, and South Point Roads and Highway 11, from the east side of Kahuku through Nāʻālehu.
One COVID-19 case is identified in Kaʻū in the 97772 zip code. The
exact location and circumstances of the case are unknown to the public.
     Sunday's state Department of Health update reports the death of a visitor on Maui and one new case on this island, associated with the cluster of cases connected with workers at McDonald's restaurants. The new case involves a worker at the Kuakini Hwy McDonald's, owned by the same franchisee as the Kona Commons and Kona Walmart locations, where the other cases were traced. This third location is now closed and owner Patrick Chin released the following statement:
     "Our highest priority is to protect the health and well-being of our people. We've been informed that additional employees from our Kona Commons, McDonald's of Walmart Kona, and Kailua-Kona locations have tested positive for the coronavirus and are connected to the previous set of confirmed cases. As soon as we were notified of the first confirmed cases, we immediately closed the restaurants to conduct a thorough sanitization procedure and notified the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health. Additionally, we previously added protective barriers to limit contact in our restaurants. We've identified and reached out to all restaurant staff who had been in close contact with the employees who contracted the virus and advised they self-quarantine for 14 days. Under the guidance of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, we have offered universal testing to our employees at each location. We are continuing to work closely with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health to ensure the safety of our crew and customers."
Civil Defense director Talmadge Magno.
     McDonald's USA also released a statement: "It is critical that the community continues to be vigilant with practicing social distancing policies and preventive measures such as staying at home when sick, avoiding others that are sick, washing hands, sneezing and coughing etiquette, and wearing a cloth face mask per Governor Ige's fifth supplemental proclamation."
     The total number of cases on Hawaiʻi Island to date is 61. DOH is monitoring 30 active COVID-19 cases, who are quarantining at home. Thirty-one people have recovered. No one is hospitalized and no one has died here.
     Statewide, there are 580 cases. Ten people have died, and 414 have recovered.
     Nationally, there are nearly 760,000 cases. More than 40,000 people have died, and over 70,000 have recovered.
     Worldwide, there are more than 2.4 million cases. The death toll is 165,227. Over 616,000 people have recovered.
     Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority issued its count of people arriving on direct flights to this island on Saturday. Disembarking in Kona were two flight crew, two intended new residents, five residents, and six visitors. There were no direct flights to Hilo. The number of persons who arrived interisland: From Honolulu there were 107 to Kona and 56 to Hilo. From Maui, there were three to Kona and one to Hilo. Last year at this time, more than 30,000 people a day arrived to the Hawaiian Islands. On Saturday that number was 454 visitors and returning residents. See The Way We Were Last Year story, below.


To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

The Wiki-Wiki Mart's staff: L-R kneeling, Kevin Hashimoto, Vernon Takaki. Standing: Michael Mochizuki. Darlene Galigo, Dorothy Mata, Ipolani Reyas, Isaac Matthews, and Jose Ortiz. Photo by Carl Okuyama
WIKI-WIKI MART IN NĀʻĀLEHU, which sells food, drink, supplies, and gasoline and refills propane tanks, announced extra staff today, to make sure people wear masks and practice physical distancing while on the property. Kevin Hashimoto is the new security guard.
     Carl Okuyama manager for Wiki-Wiki Llc, Union-76, and ʻOhana Foods, said, "Wiki-Wiki Mart loves Kaʻū and will do our best to keep our community safe. Wearing of a face mask or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required to enter the store. People who are sick and cannot come into the store, instead may call the store for take out kitchen food; call (808) 929-7135, pay over the phone with credit card, come to the store and park, call from your car, and have our associate bring you the order. Pick up of groceries or deliveries is not available."
     Okuyama said that manager Darlene Galigo will schedule Essential Associates Kevin Hashimoto and Amu Mata to oversee face mask and distancing compliance for staff and customers. Gov. David Ige issued an order on Friday requiring vendors to enforce the wearing of face masks on their premises.
     The penalty for violation that rule is up to $5000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

FRIENDS FEEDING FRIENDS IN VOLCANO will not serve a dinner for those in need this month.
However, the volunteers are working with dinners to be distributed by Kilauea Lodge on Monday and The Food Basket distribution of 14 days of food to needy Volcano residents.
     The Food Basket will be in Volcano on Wednesday, April 29 at Cooper Center from 11 a.m. until food runs out. Emergency food is available through the Emergency Food Pantry at Cooper Center Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon. Those in need can go to the outside of the Cooper Center door and wait, observing six feet of physical distance for others, until food is handed to them. Call Cooper Center at 808-967-7800.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

KĪLAUEA LODGE AND FRIENDS FEEDING FRIENDS will give out approximately 100 dinners tomorrow Monday to folks in need in the Volcano area, who are already assigned the free meals. Kīlauea Lodge donated one dinner for for each $25 dinner purchased for Easter Sunday. Kīlauea Lodge continues its take out meals with its drive through service. Call 808-967-7366 or see Facebook. Check the menu at our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar directory of takeout and food from farms and ranches.

Excel Bonoan, Ashero Badua, and Shelly Badua, of Pāhala, harvest
sweet potatoes from their garden as Earth Day approaches.
Photo by Lora Botanova
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

EARTH DAY IS COMING UP THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22.
     The county Department of Environmental Management has
posted educational tools online.
     See Earth Day Network ToolkitsEarth Day Lesson Plan, Education World, Earth Day Lessons & Activities, Teaching Guide, and Earth Day Lesson Plans, The Science Spot.
     The Earth Day in Hilo, attended by many Kaʻū residents and students in the past, was set for this Friday, April 24, but has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui Earth Day will go virtual and organizers invite everyone here to participate. The 23rd Annual 2020 Maui Earthday Festival has been transformed into the 2020 Virtual Maui Earthday. It will happen live online on Sunday, April 26 from noon to 7 p.m., using Zoom and Facebook Live platforms. Sign up at mauiearthday.org.
     The format will be 30 live presenters representing a variety of Maui and national environmental and social awareness organizations giving 5 to 10 minute presentations. This will alternate with 20 live Maui and international musicians giving 5 to 10 minute musical offerings.
     According to the Earth Day page on the County of Hawaiʻi website, the first nationwide Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Inspired by the protest movements of the 1960s, 20 million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a cleaner environment. In the aftermath, President Richard Nixon proposed the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in July 1970 and Congress passed the Clean Air (1970), Clean Water (1972), and Endangered Species (1973) Acts. The 2020 Earth Day, now celebrated worldwide, is its 50th anniversary.
With Earth Day cancelled in Hilo, Maui organizers
invite everyone here to participate in the
virtual celebration this Wednesday.
     Also, read The History of Earth Day by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, for personal reflections on the birthing of this now global celebration of preserving and conserving the Earth and its valuable natural resources.
     See Earth Day activities from the Exploratorium.
     Read the National Geographic story on Polynesian voyaging societies cleaning up plastics in the ocean.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

HAWAIʻI COFFEE ASSOCIATION HAS ANNOUNCED A WAIVER FOR WORKERS from outside the country for coffee season in Hawaiʻi. President Chris Manfredi said the waiver comes from the Department of Homeland Security, with support from the U.S Department of Agriculture. "The temporary final rule changes certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation's food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers," says a Homeland Security statement.
     "Under this temporary final rule, an H-2A petitioner with a valid temporary labor certification who is concerned that workers will be unable to enter the country due to travel restrictions, can start employing certain foreign workers who are currently in H-2A status in the United States immediately after United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives the H-2A petition, but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the petition. To take advantage of this time-limited change in regulatory requirements, the H-2A worker seeking to change employers must already be in the United States and in valid H-2A status.

     "Additionally, USCIS is temporarily amending its regulations to protect the country's food supply chain by allowing H-2A workers to stay beyond the three-year maximum allowable period of stay in the United States. These temporary changes will encourage and facilitate the continued lawful employment of foreign temporary and seasonal agricultural workers during the COVID-19 national emergency. Agricultural employers should utilize this streamlined process if they are concerned with their ability to bring in the temporary workers who were previously authorized to work for the employer in H-2A classification. At no point is it acceptable for employers to hire illegal aliens."
     Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf said, "This Administration has determined that continued agricultural employment, currently threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, is vital to maintaining and securing the country's critical food supply chain. The temporary changes announced by USCIS provide the needed stability during this unprecedented crisis."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY for west-facing shores is in effect through Monday evening. The National Weather Service states surf will be higher and stronger than normal, and shore break and dangerous currents could cause injury or death. Swimmers, surfers, and those fishing should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise caution.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

See seven Malama Hawaiʻi videos launched by Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority and Department of Land & Natural
Resources last year on Vimeo. Images and videos from DLNR
Kaʻū Life: The Way We Were Last Year

MĀLAMA HAWAIʻI, A CAMPAIGN FOR VISITORS AND LOCALS, was launched this week last year. The state sponsored effort was to remind visitors and kama‘āina to respect the islands' natural resources, protect wildlife, and stay safe. Department of Land & Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs Kalani Ka‘anāʻanā said that it was going to be "hard to avoid the phrase Mālama Hawai‘i when flying, staying in a hotel room, watching TV, or enjoying the outdoors." Case explained that outdoor conservation messaging signs were placed at popular state hiking trailheads and across communications platforms.
See seven Malama Hawaiʻi videos launched by Hawaiʻi Tourism
Authority and Department of Land & Natural Resources last year
on VimeoImages and videos from DLNR
     She applauded the visitor industry for recognizing "the strong linkage between the health of our natural and cultural resources and the health of Hawai‘i's biggest and most important economic sector. Clearly you cannot have one without the other."
     Ka‘anāʻanā said, "All of us have a responsibility to take care of our island home and ensure its sustainable future. Through this collaboration with DLNR and industry partners amplifying the message, the Mālama Hawai‘i campaign encourages travelers to be safe, mindful, and respectful while enjoying the islands' natural beauty."
See seven Malama Hawaiʻi videos launched by Hawaiʻi Tourism
Authority and Department of Land & Natural Resources last year
on VimeoImages and videos from DLNR
     As part of the campaign, seven Mālama Hawai‘i public service announcements were installed on Hawaiian Airlines for guests to watch onboard the carrier's Airbus A330 aircraft on flights between Hawai‘i and other states or countries. The 30-second videos focus on topics essential to caring for the land, ocean, and wildlife, which include staying on authorized hiking trails, refraining from trespassing on private lands or in restricted areas, respecting cultural sites, and supporting conservation efforts.
     The HTA funding also supported outreach and educational materials about preventing Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, visitor surveys of Hawai‘i State Parks, and the establishment of a carbon credit system.
     Click on images for link to PSA videos at vimeo.com/album/5625814.

Read online at kaucalendar.comSee our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar directory for farms, 
ranches, takeoutPrint 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 Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar 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.

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 May is to be announced
     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 Wednesday, April 29 from 11 a.m. until food runs out. Call Kehau at 443-4130.


On Call Emergency Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon. Call 808-933-6030.

The Next Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students will be Monday, April 27. 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.

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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