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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, April 23, 2020

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Mask off for a moment. Lorene Chuchi Augustin takes a break from running the only gas station in Pāhala.
An essential worker, like many, she often volunteers extra hours to keep the place open. Photo by Lora Botanova

THE FIRST HOSPITALIZATION OF A COVID-19 VICTIM ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND was reported today. According to the state Department of Health, the man was admitted Wednesday to Kona Community Hospital, with no connection to travel.
     Kona Community Hospital issued a statement. Its Infection Prevention and Employee Health Director, Lisa Downing, RN, said, "Our top priority is maintaining the health and safety of our staff and patients." She said the hospital "has been actively preparing with our federal, state, and county partners to respond to a confirmed novel coronavirus case since February."
     The Kona Hospital statement said the Department of Health's on-call virologist was consulted and "supports the hospital's care management of this patient, which includes precautions to protect our patients and staff." The hospital's COVID-19 emergency management playbook is designed to protect all involved by: Minimizing number of employees who enter the patient's room; following precautions defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, to include standard, contact, airborne, and eye protection; and accommodating the patient in an airborne isolation room.
No COVID-19 cases so far in the zip code areas of Volcano, 
Pāhala, and Ocean View. White indicates zero cases, light 
yellow indicates one to five cases. The 96772 area in 
Kaʻū has one case recorded. Map from DOH
     Also involved in maintaining safety of Kona Hospital are the House Supervisor, Emergency Department, and Medical Unit leadership and staff.  "All precautions were reviewed with the Infection Prevention Director and the Incident Command Team Leader," said the Kona Hospital statement.
     The State of Hawaiʻi reported one new case of COVID-19 on this island, as of noon today, bringing the total to 68. Statewide, the number of cases increased by four, reaching 596.
     The death toll in the state is still at 12. Sixty three were hospitalized, 455 recovered.
     Kaʻū still has one confirmed case, with the person staying in the 96772 zip code.
     The increase in cases on this island is connected to at the three Kona McDonald's locations, a Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense message stated this morning. "The Department of Health is continuing the investigation of the fast food cluster incident and based on their findings thus far, believe that this outbreak does not pose a threat to the general public," said Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno.
Civil Defense Director 
Talmadge Magno.
Photo from Big Island Video News
     Nationally, there are more than 890,000 cases, with 82,843 recovered and 50,372 deaths.
     Worldwide, there are more than 2.7 million cases, with 742,855 recovered and 190,872 deaths.

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.

DRIVE THROUGH SCREENING AND TESTING FOR COVID-19 will be held at Aloha Kona Urgent Care at its Pottery Terrace location, 75-5995 Kuakini Hwy. The county made the announcement today. The clinic will be held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting April 25, and continue until further notice. These free clinics are open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Response Task Force. People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required. To pre-register, or with  questions, call 808-854-3566.

FUTURE SCREENINGS IN KAʻŪ include Bay Clinic during business hours, with appointment. Call 333-3600.
     The next drive-thru screening will be Wednesday, April 29 at Nāʻālehu Community Center from  to  Wearing masks is required for everyone. Free screening will be carried out by Aliʻi Health, with support from County of Hawai‘i COVID-19 Task Force, Premier Medical Group and Pathways Telehealth.

     To bypass the screening queue at community test sites, patients can call ahead to Pathways Telehealth, option 5 at 808-747-8321. The free clinic will also offer on-site screening to meet testing criteria. Physicians qualify those for testing, under the guidance of Center for Disease Control and Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Response Task Force.

     Those visiting screening clinics will be asked to show photo ID, and any health insurance cards – though health insurance is not required to be tested. They are also asked to bring their own pens to fill in forms. For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.



A HANDY GUIDE TO COVID-19 SERVICES AND A NEW CALL CENTER were announced today by County of Hawai‘i. The guide is published and the call center goes live this Friday, April 24.
     The trifold brochure, A Guide for Our Community, was developed to provide information on available programs, including financial assistance, food assistance, medical assistance, help for seniors, and other resources. Copies of the brochure are being distributed islandwide, with an initial press run of 5,000 copies.
     The new call center, manned by county workers, will be serving the public Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For help, call the Call Center at 961-8665.
     "This is a difficult time for so many in our community, and we all need help at times," says the brochure introduction. "The Call Center will be serving anyone who needs extra assistance by taking your contact information and basic request, and then following up with the appropriate service provider."


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.

TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING FOR COVID-19 will receive a $21.3 million infusion. The money will go to the State of Hawaiʻi to support testing capacity, research, development, validation, manufacturing, purchasing, and administration of tests and testing supplies. The announcement came from Sen. Brian Schatz today. He said $16.3 million was included in the latest federal funding package passed by the senate this week. Another $5 million will come from the CDC through the CARES Act.
     "The only way we can begin to reopen our economy is by ramping up testing," said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "This new federal funding will give Hawai‘i additional resources to test more people for COVID-19, conduct contact tracing, and help stop the spread in our state."

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.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF THE BIG ISLAND WILL RECEIVE $20,000 for expenses relating to its community feeding program. The resolution passed Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday, unanimously.
     The non-profit sends food from its kitchen in Hilo to Nāʻālehu School, where Boys & Girls staff members pick it up and deliver to homes of Boys & Girls Club membets. The effort reaches many  isolated youth in Ocean View. Boys & Girls Club meals cooked at its Hilo kitchen also reach youth and kūpuna from in Hilo and and Puna. Foot is also distributed from its kitchen in Kona.

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 CLEAN WATER ACT WAS VICTORIOUS IN A U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING INVOLVING HAWAIIAN WATERS this week. The court held that the Clean Water Act requires the federal government to regulate groundwater pollutants that find their way into navigable waters.
State Rep. Angus McKelve fought for
clean waters on Maui. The Supreme
Court decision applies to all nearshore
waters in Hawaiʻi.
     The case involves Maui, where State Rep. Angus McKelvey says, he fought with others to stave off an effort to substantially weaken the Clean Water Act.
     According to McKelvey, permits will be required for the discharge of pollutants that reach navigable waters via groundwater, if the discharge is the "functional equivalent" of direct from the source, as with the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
     "With all the stressors and bad news of the COVID-19 in the media, I was thrilled to get this piece of good news this morning because this has been such a critical issue for me personally, as well as for Maui and across the country," McKelvey said.
     "The 6-3 ruling makes it very clear that the Clean Water Act requires a permit for the nitrogen-rich discharge from Maui County's injection wells that make its way into the near shore ocean waters," McKelvey said. "The Courts ruling also dispels the claim that the clean drinking water standard is not the standard to be solely applied.
     "I applaud the new test created by the Supreme Court because it makes it clear that the County needs a permit for their injection wells, while ensuring homeowners and others won't have to go through any type of federal permits insofar as the Clean Water Act goes. Although the test would scale back on a lower court's previous ruling, it is significantly broader than the position the County and the Trump Administration had taken in arguing for no such permits."
     "While it was argued that requiring permits for discharges of pollution through groundwater into navigable waters would vastly expand the scope of the Clean Water Act, the Court was on point in noting that the EPA has applied such permits to discharges like the ones with the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility for over 30 years," McKelvey added.

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.

Kai Kahele's bid to represent Kaʻū and rural Hawaiʻi is endorsed
by Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Photo from Kahele's campaign
PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND ENDORSED KAI KAHELE in his bid for Hawaiʻi's Second Congressional District. A message from Kahele's campaign calls him "incredibly passionate about the fight for reproductive justice and women's health care and has said that 'all women should have access to birth control and health care, regardless of their race, income, or geographic location.'"
     Kahele, states the message, "remains deeply concerned" about the closure of the Planned Parenthood Health Clinics on Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island. He remarked that "women throughout Hawaiʻi need access to the critical services of Planned Parenthood. The current travel restrictions due to COVID-19 further highlight why women on every island need access to health services… We still have a lot of work to do to advance gender equality, women's rights, and reproductive freedom, and Kai is deeply committed to this fight... Join our movement to help Kai fight for access to reproductive healthcare."

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.

"WE ARE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS where diversity is our strength," said Sen. Mazie Hirono. She was responding to Pres. Donald Trump's recent tweet, "In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!"

     Said Hirono, "Immigrants are on the front lines of this crisis -- treating coronavirus patients, delivering essential goods, producing the food we eat, and putting themselves in harm's way to protect all of us. We need a groundswell of support to push back hard against Trump's racism and xenophobia." She asked people to sign her petitionto "stand with immigrants against Trump's hate."

     Hirono and Rep. Judy Chu led 28 Senators and 76 Members of the House of Representatives to write to Congressional leadership to ensure a relief package with coronavirus testing and medical care, regardless of limited English proficiency or immigration status. They noted that immigrant workers hold the front lines of the coronavirus response as health care workers, farmworkers, grocery store workers, and other essential service providers. Sen. Brian Schatz also signed the letter, which can be found here.
     Earlier this month, Hirono, Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Chu, and colleagues released the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act, for  COVID-19 assistance to the vulnerable, regardless of immigration status or English language proficiency. The legislation is supported by more than 70 organizations, including labor unions, civil rights groups, and immigrant rights groups.

Big Island Artisans Market opened on Feb. 6
but soon shut down as a nonessential business.
Its founder hopes to reopen soon and has
taken the venture online at GoLikeLoacls.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.

LOCAL ARTISANS CAN INCREASE SALES by joining Big Island Artisan Market online  at GoLikeLocals.com; it's free, says Kelly Rene, a founder and organizer of Big Island Artisan Market. The Market first opened on Thursdays, Feb. 6, at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, but soon shut down during the pandemic, when selling arts and crafts was deemed non-essential business by state government.
     Artisans were turned away from markets in Ocean View, Nāʻālehu, and Volcano. The Ocean View Swap Meet and Big Island Artisans Market shut down, and the others quickly reduced their sales to food, food plants, seeds, and cleaning and gardening supplies. That left artisans, crafters, and resellers of non-food items with nowhere to go but online.
     The goal of GoLikeLocals.com, produced by Rene, family, and friends, is to bring income back into the artisans' wallets and "build an online shopping experience that supports the local economies." It showcases "the incredible talent here on the south end" of Hawaiʻi Island, said Rene.
     She said the increasing foot traffic during its short time at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji was "respectable for a brand new market in a brand new location." She called the permission of the Hongwanji to hold it there, "a very supportive gesture."
     Locals and visitors stopped in. "We even had a tour bus stop." She said the number of vendors and customers grew until Covid hit. "With only a few weeks under our belt, the decision to close in the interest of public safety was made" by the government.
     Rene, friends and family soon repurposed an old website. She said the free listing and use of GoLikeLocals.com is open to all. It provides direct links to the artisan vendors to carry out their own transactions.
      Locals artisans on board include Yolanda Morales, of Ocean View, who makes head and hand lei, and sells pareos/sarongs; and photographer Jon Mikan, of Volcano.
     "The goal is to help the smallest of our businesses and impact our future as well. None of us are non-essential and this may just save some local businesses in this time of crisis," said Rene.
     She said another goal at Big Island Artisan Market, once it is allowed to reopen to foot traffic, is to extend its Thursday walk-in market at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji to more days and help local vendors make a living closer to home.
     Rene also owns Big Island Bed & Breakfast. See GoLikeLocals.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.

ALL KING KAMEHAMEHA CELEBRATIONS STATEWIDE ARE CANCELLED. Kaʻū riders and walkers often participate in the parade along Aliʻi Drive in Kona. It was scheduled for Saturday, June 13. Another Kamehameha celebration, held each year on June 11, is cancelled. It traditionally includes a floral parade with paʻu riders traveling from Hawi to the King Kamehamea Statue in Kapaʻau on the north end of the island. It also draws Kaʻū participants.
Kamehameha celebration in the U.S. Capitol is cancelled, along
with parades and celebrations across the state. Photo by Julia Neal
     Also cancelled is the King Kamehaeha celebration and lei draping of his statue in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. The event is held each year with support from Hawaiʻi's Congressional Delegation, Hawaiian hālau, and cultural groups living in the Washington, D.C. area, and visiting Hawaiʻi residents.
     Normally celebrated in June, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission has announced lei draping ceremonies, parades, and the hoʻolauleʻa are all cancelled. KKCC Chair Kainoa Daines said, "The decision to cancel these major, statewide events was made with the health and safety of our island communities and kūpuna in mind. While we are hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 health crisis will be behind us by June, we feel the prudent response at this time is to cancel our events so that all involved in our respective King Kamehameha Celebration festivities across the state can focus on matters important to health, welfare and economy. We look forward to commemorating and celebrating Kamehameha Pai‘ea in 2021." For more information, updates, and 2021 dates, see ags.hawaii.gov/kamehameha.

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 COVID-19 Screenings are at Bay Clinic during business hours, with appointment. Call 333-3600.
     The next drive-thru screening will be Wednesday, April 29 at Nāʻālehu Community Center from  to  Screening will be carried out by Aliʻi Health, with support from County of Hawai‘i COVID-19 Task Force, Premier Medical Group and Pathways Telehealth.

     Wearing masks is required for everyone. 
     To bypass the screening queue at community test sites, patients can call ahead to Pathways Telehealth, option 5 at 808-747-8321. The free clinic will also offer on-site screening to meet testing criteria. Physicians qualify those for testing, under the guidance of Center for Disease Control and Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Response Task Force.

     Those visiting screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID, and any health insurance cards – though health insurance is not required to be tested. They are also asked to bring their own pens to fill in forms.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

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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