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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, May 18, 2020

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Punaluʻu Beach, with its black sand and lifeguard stand, reopens tomorrow, with social distancing rules
and directives for only small numbers of people to gather. Photo by Julia Neal

PUNALUʻU AND WHITTINGTON BEACH PARKS WILL REOPEN on Tuesday, May 19, along with most other beach parks on the island, pending approval of Gov. David Ige. Mayor Harry Kim made the announcement, saying that the number of active cases of COVID-19 remains low, thanks to the efforts of the entire community to stem the spread of the virus. Today, the Mayor asked the Governor for final approval of his Rule Number 5, which will officially reopen the County's beach parks. The rule also covers permitted activities.
     Kim said, "These beach parks are being reopened for your enjoyment and your wellbeing. Please keep up the safe practices of social distancing that helped us get to where we are today." He said he is working with the Department of Parks and Recreation to determine the next phase of County facilities to reopen, such as tennis courts, pickleball courts, and more. A statement from the Mayor's staff said, "Although the County beach parks will reopen, the threat of COVID-19 is still present and we must do all we can to remain safe."
     The Mayor said that all beachgoers must follow the safe practices stated in the CDC guidelines and Hawai‘i County Rules. "Know the importance of staying mentally, physically, and socially healthy with these rules," said the Mayor. "Please keep up your good work as we continue to reopen in a safe way." For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.
Punaluʻu Beach Park is set to reopen tomorrow but with limitations on the number of people who can gather at
one place and social distancing rules in place. Photo by Julia Neal
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.

FROM SAFER AT HOME TO ACTING WITH CARE is the next transition for Hawaiʻi to continue to move away from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown to the opening up of society and the economy, according to Gov. David Ige. During his news briefing Monday afternoon, the governor said that the new Acting with Care phase celebrates Hawaiʻi's Kamaʻaina economy. "In this phase we start to reconnect Hawaiʻi's local activities by gradually reopening medium-risk businesses and activities; followed by high-risk businesses and activities." The move from a stabilization phase that included Stay-at-Home and Safer at Home directives "was made possible by the flattening of the COVID-19 infection curve due to good social-distancing practices, and other measures taken by the community to help protect our most vulnerable populations from coronavirus," said the governor.
The World Health Organization providing guidance to Hawaiʻi in
its reopening during a waning number of COVID-19 cases.
See WHO guides for businesses, food establishments, and more.
     He details the change from Safer at Home to Acting with Care in his 8th Supplementary Proclamation, which he signed today. It retains mandatory 14-day traveler quarantine order for domestic and interisland flights. He said, "Acting with Care means exactly that. With more and more businesses reopening throughout the state, it is up to all of us... to make sure we take care to keep each other safe. So when you go outside that includes physical distancing, good hygiene, and following all safe practices that are being put in place."
     Ige said the next phase will be Long-Term Recovery, followed by Resilience. "Long-term Recovery," said the governor, "is where Hawaiʻi's economy is renewed and rebuilt through planning and policy discussions which will incorporate transitional workforce modernization opportunities, support economic diversification initiatives, target the development of emerging industries, and advance long-term resiliency." At the recovery impact level, the governor says the focus will be on reopening highest-risk businesses and activities, while remaining cautious and adjusting safe practices as needed. "We can expect this phase to take much longer, since this is when we will be reshaping Hawaiʻi's economy." 
Gov. David said this guide from Johns Hopkins
helped him to plan the reopening of the
state as the COVID-19 numbers subside.
Read the Public Health Principles
     The governor said that Resilience is Hawaiʻi's intended outcome. "Together, we will emerge stronger and more resilient as a result of learning from and overcoming this challenge." With Resilience, Counties can choose to relax stricter local orders at their own pace in coordination with the Governor's Office. A 14-day-long observation period, between decision points, will allow time to assess conditions before moving to the next impact level. If infections spike and threaten to overwhelm systems, the state has the ability to enforce capacity to effectively manage a surge in cases. As a safeguard, the governor explained, "We can consider the option of moving back."
     Ige said that the reopening strategy is rooted in science, data, and best practices, predicated on expert input from prominent international and national health organizations. The governor said he is committed to making sound decisions with direction from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Johns Hopkins University Public Health Principles.
     His statement says that "All of the guidance suggests that Hawaiʻi continues to act with care by maintaining physical distancing and safe practices across all phases to protect the health and safety of people."  He said health experts agree that one or more of these outcomes will occur "while we learn to live safely with COVID-19.
Advice from the CDC and others guide Hawaiʻi on 
reopening with care. See CDC advice for states.
     "One possibility is that treatments and containment methods increase survivability and decrease pressure on Hawaiʻi's hospitals and health care providers. The second possibility is that our population develops a natural immunity to COVID-19, referred to as herd immunity. And a third, longer-term possibility, is that a vaccine is developed, and at least 60 percent of our population is immunized. We can feel confident reopening knowing that Hawaiʻi's health care and public health systems are ready, and continue to increase testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and quarantine capacity. "

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.

LIBRARY BOOKS WILL BE QUARANTINED FOR FOUR DAYS upon their return. The Hawaiʻi State Public Library System announced reopening of book drops today, including those at Pāhala and Nāʻālehu libraries.
     The Hawaiʻi State Public Library System issued an announcement, saying, "re-opening of the book drops represents the beginning of a phased-in approach to providing library services to support the health and safety of our communities. No book donations will be accepted at this time."
     The statement noted that "all returned items will be placed into quarantine for a minimum of four days before checking those items in. Depending on the date of return, and the location's hours of operation, it may take a few days for your library account to reflect the return. No fines will be assessed during this period."
Public water fountain for keiki and adults is bagged and taped next to the
book drop, where the tape came off to receive returned books in Pāhala.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Fines assessed from Feb. 26 through future reopening dates of libraries will be waived. For questions about library card accounts and more, library patrons, call 808-586-3500 or toll-free at 1-800-390-3611, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     "Our buildings will continue to remain closed to the public as we continue to prepare our spaces to welcome communities back. We appreciate the public's patience as we navigate this difficult time until we can reopen. Until then, we welcome the community to join our virtual library!" says the library statement.
     Many Hawaiʻi State Library resources are available online, free with a library card. See librarieshawaii.org for online resources 24/7. Online collections include OverDrive: ebooks; New York Times; Ancestry Library Edition: genealogy access through June 30, 2020; Kanopy: streaming movies; Bookflix: kids movies; and Virtual Programs presented by librarians of the Hawaiʻi State Libraries. Sign up for a library card online. Gain access to ebooks, digital newspapers and magazines, streaming movies and more.
A four-day quarantine will be placed on books
returned to the book drops at public libraries
around the state, like this one in Pāhala.
Photo by  Julia Neal
     "The Hawaiʻi State Public Library System appreciates how much the community wants to return to the library, and we are working to prepare services and spaces to welcome everyone back soon," states the announcement.

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 TELE-TOWN HALL MEETING this Wednesday at 4 p.m. will feature U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with updates on the latest federal legislation. Joining her will be Shawna Lamothe from the IRS and Gayvial James from the IRS Local Taxpayer Advocate office, to provide an update on coronavirus relief efforts.
     Also joining in will be Dr. Scott Miscovich, to answer questions about testing efforts across the state as Counties start to implement plans to reopen safely. Miscovich is leading COVID-19 testing efforts and working closely as a senior advisor to Lt. Gov. Josh Green.
     This will be the tenth of a weekly coronavirus-related live telephone town hall series hosted by Gabbard. Anyone can participate. Sign up on Gabbard's website to receive a phone call to join the event, or listen online at gabbard.house.gov/live.

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.

ANOTHER THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR FOOD BANK expenditures in South Kona, Ocean View, throughout Kaʻū and Volcano, is up for approval by the County Council Wednesday. The housekeeping proposal transfers money for the grant from the Clerk Council Services Contingency Relief account, Council District 6, to the Department of Liquor Control, Public Programs account. Food distributed is for relief from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food Bank, with help from local organizations like ʻO Kaʻū Kākou, regularly distributes 14 days of food per family.

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.

Concept four in the plans for renovating and rebuilding facilities at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
See the larger design maps and give input at Disaster Recovery Project.
CONCEPT FOUR, IN THE PLANS FOR RENOVATIONS AND REBUILDING HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK FACILITIES, proposes combining Jaggar Museum and Kīlauea Visitor Center functions in a new Kīlauea Visitor Center. The National Park Service invites comments and ideas on all four concepts, which are available online.
     In Concept 4, a new building would be constructed on the former ballfield area adjacent to the Kīlauea Military Camp land assignment. Visitor services currently provided at KVC and formerly provided at Jaggar Museum, made unusable by 2018 earthquakes, would come together at the new facility.
     A new USGS field station, the old made unusable by the earthquakes, would be constructed adjacent and west of the new visitor center. New parking and utility infrastructure would support the new facilities. The existing Kīlauea Visitor Center would become an education center.
     The new visitor center would include a separate restroom building. There would be a covered lanai, outdoor exhibits, visitor parking, bus parking, NPS administrative parking, and pedestrian circulation. The new USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory & PIERC-KFS Field Station and parking would be constructed adjacent to the new visitor center. A new shared water line, water tank, and wastewater systems would be constructed adjacent to the new visitor center and USGS HVO & PIERC-KFS Field Station.
     The existing KVC would be repurposed as an education center with existing National Park Service office and auditorium uses being maintained.
HVO Chief Scientist Tina Neal and acting Superintendent of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National park Rhonda Loh 
showed Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt the plaza overlooking Kīlauea Caldera in front of 
Jaggar Museum and USGS headquarters for Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Both will be moved
according to Concept 3 in new plans for the Park. Photo by DOI/Tami A. Heilemann
     The existing education center in the NPS administrative area would be repurposed for NPS administrative use. New covered picnic tables would be constructed in the existing picnic area adjacent to the 1877 Volcano House.
     An administrative bypass lane and additional fee booth would be added to the park entrance station. Crater Rim Drive would be realigned to improve vehicular circulation in the KVC area.      See all four concepts and provide input through parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=307&projectID=92891&documentID=103878. To be mailed the design concepts, or to receive answers to questions, call (808) 460-6212, or email havo_planning@nps.gov. The comment period will end Monday, June 15. The National Park Service will use community feedback to determine which concept, or modified concept, will be the proposed concept. NPS will evaluate the impacts of any proposed alternative.

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
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.

NO NEW COVID-19 CASES in the state, reports the Department of Health. On Hawaiʻi Island, two people are self-isolating and monitored by DOH. The case count confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island since the pandemic began is 77.
     DOH confirms 640 cases statewide since the pandemic began, with 415 on Oʻahu, 117 in Maui County, 21 in Kauaʻi County, and 10 cases involving residents diagnosed outside the state.
     In the United States, more than 1.54 million cases have been confirmed. The death toll is over 90,694.
     Worldwide, more than 4.81 million have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is over 319,000.

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.

directory for farms, ranches, takeout. 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.
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 May.

MOST EVENTS ARE CANCELLED 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 at Nāʻālehu Community Center will be held Wednesday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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.
     A testing team from Aloha Critical Care in Kona will provide testing at St. Jude's every other Wednesday. The next date is May 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
     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 & Prevention 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 pen to fill in forms.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market in Nāʻālehu is open three days per week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – from 8 a.m. to noon. The goal is no more than 50 customers on the grounds at a time. Vendor booths per day are limited to 25, with 30 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing are required to attend the market. Social distancing will be enforced.
 A wide selection of fresh vegetables and fruits, prepared take away foods, assorted added value foods, breads and baked goods, honey, cheese, grass-fed beef, fish, vegetable plants, masks, handmade soaps, coffee, and more are offered on various days. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374, for more and to apply to vend.

Volcano Farmers Market at Cooper Center on Wright Road, off of Old Volcano Highway, is open on Sundays from  to , with much local produce, island beef, and prepared foods. Call 808-967-7800.



Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary and at Nāʻālehu Elementary weekdays through May. 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 Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street, distributed by the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry, on Tuesday, May 26, 10 a.m. to noon. Call The Food Basket, 933-6030.
     The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road Wednesday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. Call Kehau at 443-4130.
     The Nāʻālehu location Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy, under their Loaves and Fishes program, on Thursday, May 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 928-8208.
     The Ocean View location for May was Kahuku Park on Monday, May 11, 10 a.m. to noon. Call The Food Basket, 933-6030, for the next date.

On-Call Emergency Box Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon. Call 967-7800 to confirm.

Enroll in Kua O Ka Lā's Hīpuʻu Virtual Academy for school year 2020-2021, grades four through eight. Join a virtual tour of the award-wining Hīpuʻu program on Wednesday, May 20 at  The Hawaiian Focused Charter School teaches with an emphasis on Hawaiian language and culture. The blended curriculum is offered through online instruction and community-based projects, with opportunities for face-to-face gatherings (with precautions), in an "Education with Aloha" environment.
     Kua O Ka Lā offers a specialized program which provides students with core curriculum, content area, and electives in-keeping with State of Hawaiʻi requirements. Combined with Native Hawaiian values, culture, and a place-based approach to education, from the early morning wehena – ceremonial school opening – Kua O Ka Lā students are encouraged to walk Ke Ala Pono – the right and balanced path.

     The school's website says Kua O Ka Lā has adopted Ke Ala Pono "to describe our goal of nurturing and developing our youth. We believe that every individual has a unique potential and that it is our responsibility to help our students learn to work together within the local community to create a future that is pono – right." The school aims to provide students with "the knowledge and skills, through Hawaiian values and place-based educational opportunities, that prepare receptive, responsive, and self-sustaining individuals that live 'ke ala pono.'"
     See kuaokala.org to apply and to learn more about the school. Call 808-981-5866 or 808-825-8811, or email info@kuaokala.org for more.

Free Book Exchanges at the laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu are provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Everyone is invited to take books they want to read. They may keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them to the Book Exchange to make them available to others in the community. The selection of books is replenished weekly at both sites.

Make Reservations for Father's Day at Crater Rim Café in Kīlauea Military Camp for Sunday, June 21 from  to  Seating limited due to social distancing. Dinner also available to go. The main course is Prime Rib and Vegetable Alfredo Pasta Bake, with side dishes and dessert, for $27.95 per person. Call 967-8356 for dine-in reservations, to-go orders, and current event information. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

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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