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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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Lava trees, native plants and animals, and rainbows are some sights people can see when traveling through
newly reopened portions of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. See details below. NPS photo

RUSSELL RUDERMAN WILL NOT RUN FOR REELECTION. The sate Senator, who represents District 2, Punaluʻu and Pāhala through Volcano, into Puna, made the announcement on his Friends of Russell Ruderman Facebook page today. He stated, "After eight years as your state senator, I have
Sen. Russel Ruderman at a Democratic rally at old Hilo Bandstand.
Photo  by Julia Neal
chosen not to run for a third term this year. I want to thank each of you for your support over these last eight years. Serving Puna and Kaʻū in the state legislature has been one of the great honors of my life. The reasons include personal, health, and political."
     Ruderman summed up his two four-year terms, which end this year, without his running for reelection: "I'm proud of what we have accomplished together. We represented our community with an honest, independent voice working towards responsiveness and integrity in our government. Our community deserves this and strongly supported me in this commitment. While some projects remain unfinished, I will remain involved and hope to see them through. I will also be involved in other efforts, some to be announced soon, and I hope to make much more of a contribution to our community in these other ways."
Kaʻū High students met with Ruderman, asking for
more Advanced Placement classes, a carpentry program,
and land security for coffee farmers. Photo by Julia Neal
     He thanked "everyone who ever helped my campaigns, or supported my efforts in office. Few thought I could win, or get reelected, or be effective. With your help we did all of that. Every time one of you said 'Mahalo!' or 'Hang in there' here in our community is forever appreciated, and that's what kept me going.
     "I also thank my longtime staff, Maigee Chang and Michael Greenough, who have been the foundation of my senate office for all these eight long years! I believe we are the only office that had this stability or talent. This has allowed us to be much more effective for our community, which my staff has grown to love as much as I do. I could never thank them enough and I could not have been more fortunate to have them. I also thank my hardworking campaign team, Chair Brent Norris and Treasurer Gretchen Klungness! We never lost an election!"
Sen. Russell Ruderman congratulated sixth, seventh, and eighth
grade girls for completing an aviation class on U.S.S. Missouri.
Photo by Eileen O'Hara
     Ruderman became involved with may issues in Kaʻū, including improving education, land security for farmers and publicly funded projects. He met with Kaʻū students over the years to encourage them to become involved in the democratic process.
     His Puerto Rican Band, El Leo, played at the Kaʻū Coffee Festival and Plantation Days Celebrations.

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.

MOBILE LEARNING LABS WILL ROLL INTO KAʻŪ, as part of a state Department of Education effort to reach students living in remote places without good Wi-Fi reception. The learning labs arrive in June as a pilot project destined for four locations: Kaʻū, and remote neighborhoods on Molokaʻi, Maui, and Kauaʻi. Superintendent of Schools Christina Kishimoto said the mobile labs could become permanent hubs for teaching to students living remotely in the Fall.
     The mobile teaching hubs help to address the COVID-19 situation, with summer school mostly online. On Tuesday, DOE announced distance learning summer school, with in-person teaching for those with online learning issues. Students without internet connections and other serious challenges can sign up to come to campus and for the distance learning labs close to their homes. Classes will be no larger than six to eight persons, with some of them smaller and sometimes one-on-one.
     Summer programs aim to help students in grades six through 12 to recover credits. For all grades, they aim to accelerate receiving credits. Online school will be for grades nine through 12. In-person teaching will be for all grades for students needing remediation, intervention, and enrichment. See bit.ly/HISummerLearning.
     Kishimoto said that DOE is coordinating with nonprofit organizations and that school administrators hope to be ready for the fall to provide "that kind of reach, especially as we know our school year is not going to be normalized."
     She said that plans for Fall are not yet fixed, though an opening date of Aug. 4 is expected, with 180 days of instruction.
     The BOE takes up a resolution this Thursday to design summer school "in a way that supports students disproportionately impacted by school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."
     Department of Education is asking middle and high school students, grades six to 12, to take a distance learning survey to help better understand experiences and needs to plan for the next school year on and off campus. Access the survey.

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.
Hurricane Lane passed south of Hawaiʻi Island in 2018. NOAA image
HURRICANE SEASON WILL CREATE TWO TO SIX TROPICAL CYCLONES to pass through the Central Pacific Basin from June 1 through Nov. 30, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The first named storm will be called Hone.
     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agency released its annual forecast today. The average number of storms is about five, with zero in 1979 and 16 in 2015. Central Pacific Hurricane Center Director Chris Brenchley said the prediction for 2020 is based on neutral warm-water El Nino conditions early in the season transitioning to cooler La Nina conditions later in the Fall. Putting the forecast in numbers, he calculated a 75 percent chance of a near-or-below normal season or normal season, with a 25 percent chance of an above-normal season. Last year, only one storm passing through the Central Pacific reached Hurricane strength.

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.

Photo of an apapane alighting on an ʻōhiʻa lehua, taken from Kīpukapuaulu Trail during a Friends of Hawaiʻi
 Volcanoes National Park bird watching trip. FHVNP photo
COMMUNITY ACCESS TO HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK increased this morning with the re-opening of the following places:
     Mauna Loa Road to Kīpukapuaulu for vehicles, bicyclists, and hikers, including Tree Molds is open. The picnic area remains closed. The Park website describes it as an easy 1.2 mile (1.9 km) loop trail that  "reveals a story of struggle and survival for some of Hawai‘i's rarest plants and animals." The trail travels through a kīpuka, an area of older vegetation surrounded by a more recent lava flow from Mauna Loa. A unique biological diversity of rare plants, birds, insects, and very old-growth forest of koa and ʻōhi‘a trees can be found along the path.

Kaʻū Desert Trail offers a vista overlooking land and sea. NPS photo
     Mauna Loa Road past Kīpukapuaulu is open for hikers and bicyclists to Mauna Loa Overlook at 6,662 feet, but closed to vehicles. Mauna Loa Lookout provides panoramic views of Kīlauea volcano, old lava flows, and the ocean on clear days. The subalpine woodland includes koa, māmane, and ‘ōhi‘a trees, and endemic bird species, including ‘i‘iwi.
     Footprints Trail from Highway 11 to the Ka‘ū Desert Trail and Mauna Iki Trail junction, including the Footprints shelter, is open. The Park website says a 1790 explosion at the summit of Kīlauea sent a torrent of hot gas, ash, and sand raining down on the Kaʻū Desert. "Caught in the middle of this deadly, suffocating storm were groups of Native Hawaiians, traveling through the region on long-used trails. In the newly fallen layer of ash, these groups left behind footprints that we can still see today – a reminder that Hawaiians have born witness to the geological drama of this island for centuries." Kaʻū Desert "is a harsh landscape where volcanic eruptions and ashfall from events in Halemaʻumau crater have created a desolate, moon-like environment," says the site. A shelter with an exhibit about the footprints is accessible via an easy walk about half a mile (.8 km) from the Kaʻū Desert Trailhead. Mark Twain called the desert "The Kingdom of Desolation." Mauna Iki Trail travels through sand and ash as it passes Puʻu Koaʻe and the Twin Pit Craters, where Koaʻeʻkea, white-tailed tropicbirds, nest in the walls.

Mauna Ulu, along the Escape Road. NPS photo
     Escape Road, for bicycling, horseback riding, and hiking to the Mauna Ulu junction, was originally built in the 1800's to transport tourists and provisions to the crater from boats on the coast. It now serves as an alternate way out of the Kīlauea Crater area in case the Chain of Craters Road gets blocked by new lava flows.
     A statement from the Park says that the openings within the park follow "guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities." The National Park Service is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

     Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Acting Superintendent Rhonda Loh, said, "We have completed thorough risk assessments for the continued safety of our staff and the public, and while we are excited to increase access in areas of the park that allow for social distancing in an outdoor, open-air environment, we are urging each person to be safe to keep us all safe. If people cannot adhere to the latest health guidelines for their protection and ours, the park may have to close these areas again."

Lava tree molds can be seen along the Kīpukapuaulu and Mauna Ulu Trails. 
Photo from hikespeak.com
     The statement stresses: "The health and safety of park users, our employees, volunteers, and partners continue to be paramount. At Hawai‘i VolcanoesNational Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for all.

"While these areas are accessible for the public to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. Park users should follow local area health orders from the Governor of Hawai‘i, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

     The Park points to CDC guidance "to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health."

Footprints in Kau Desert. Photo from 
Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
     Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted at nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on nps.gov/coronavirus.

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.

THIS IS ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH. Today, Sen. Mazie Hirono led 22 Senate colleagues to introduce a resolution noting the significant contributions by generations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The resolution recognizes noteworthy milestones in 2020: 35th anniversary of the mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery of Ellison Shoji Onizuka, the first Asian American in space, a man from Hawaiʻi Island; 45th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of the Southeast Asian diaspora to communities across the United States; 45th anniversary of the completion of the double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hōkūleʻa, marking the first traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe built in Hawaiʻi in more than 600 years; 55th anniversary of the enactment of landmark legislation that reversed restrictive immigration policies against immigrants from Asia; and the 110th anniversary of the establishment of Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, California, which served as a major port of entry for immigrants coming to the United States from Asia and the Pacific.
     Hirono wrote, "This year, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month falls during a pandemic that is testing the very fabric of our nation. Anti-Asian racism and attacks are on the rise, stoked by those in the highest levels of government. As we pay tribute to the achievements of generations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, the recent surge in discrimination and hate crimes against the AAPI community demonstrates how much work must still be done to achieve full equality. I join my colleagues in celebrating the contributions of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, and advocating for the civil rights and equal treatment of all Americans.
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined Hirono and said, "This month, we honor and celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, leaders, and history, and the significant contributions they have made to our country. It is also a time we must recommit to fighting alongside AAPI communities to end the discrimination they continue to face."
     Hirono has advocated for action to address anti-Asian racism, asking federal agencies to proactively address coronavirus-related anti-Asian discrimination and hate crimes, introduced legislation to support immigrant families while providing critical services during the pandemic, and urged Congressional leadership to build inclusive coronavirus relief packages.

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.

CURBSIDE PICKUP AT KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL begins Tuesday, June 2 from to on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The public can call or order online to pick up award-winning Kaʻū Coffee, coffee treats, macadamia nuts, accessories, skincare, apparel, and more. Pick up location is 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, Pāhala. Call 928-0550 or go to kaucoffeemill.com to order.
     Also available are smoothies, blended coffee drinks, hot coffee, iced coffee, and cold brew. Customers can also order any products available on kaucoffeemill.com.
     Curbside Pickup customers must order and pay online or by phone. First Responders including police officers, firefighters, and Kaʻū  Hospital staff will receive a free cup of coffee daily. They can call to order and again upon arrival, with order number, for coffee delivery to their vehicles.
     All customers will park in the Kaʻū Coffee Mill parking lot and remain in vehicles for Kaʻū Coffee Mill team member to bring out the orders. Social distancing is required.
     The Kaʻū Coffee Mill Visitor Center remains closed to the public and no public restrooms are available. More info is available on the Kaʻū Coffee Mill Curbside Pickup FAQ page at kaucoffeemill.com.

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.

TWO NEW CASES OF COVID-19, one on Hawaiʻi Island, one on Oʻahu, are reported today by the Department of Health. Seventy-nine cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island since the pandemic began, with 76 recovered. The remaining three are quarantined and monitored by DOH. Statewide, 643 people have been confirmed positive for the virus since the pandemic began.

     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says, "The Island and State of Hawaii are moving forward in removing some of the restrictions established to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. In moving forward, know that the virus threat is still out there, and we need to continue following the preventive policies of distancing, face coverings, cleanliness, gatherings, and personal health to keep Hawaiʻi Safe. Thank you for doing your part. Thank you for listening. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense."

     In the United States, more than 1.58 million cases have been confirmed. The death toll is over 93,806.
     Worldwide, more than 4.97 million have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is over 327,000.


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.
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 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 27 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 June 3 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 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., 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 from 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's ʻOhana Food Drop is available once a month at four Kaʻū and Volcano locations. People can receive a multi-day supply of shelf-stable and fresh food, depending on supply. Call The Food Basket at 933-6030 for Pāhala and Volcano or at 322-1418 for Nāʻālehu or Ocean View. Food can be picked up from 10 a.m. until pau – supplies run out – at:

     Pāhala's Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street on Tuesday, May 26 and Tuesday, June 30.

     Volcano's CooperCenter at 19-4030 Wright Road on Wednesday, May 27 and Wednesday, June 24.

     Nāʻālehu's Sacred HeartChurch at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy on Monday, June 1.
     Ocean View's KahukuPark on Tuesday, June 8.


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. 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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