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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, May 21, 2020

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Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center & KS Send Aid
Kaʻū volunteers Terry-Lee Shibuya and Liz Stabo recently met Queen Liliʻuokalani Children's Center rep, Jaysha 
Alonzo-Estrada, to receive a van load of goods to be distributed to families in need. Alonzo-Estrada helped to 
deliver the food donated by QLCC and Kamehameha Schools East Hawaiʻi Region, while Shibuya and Stabo 
distributed packages throughout Pāhala. Photo from Terry-Lee Shibuya


See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar directory for farms, ranches, takeout.

CARDIAC AND CANCER TREATMENT AT HILO MEDICAL CENTER, where many Kaʻū residents seek treatment, is receiving millions of dollars, according to state Sen. Kai Kahele. He announced today that $3.5 million will go to construction and equipment for a second catheterization laboratory for the medical center's cardiac unit, and $6.5 million will fund plans, design, equipment, and construction to expand and improve the oncology center.
     The statement from Kahele says, "With the initial legislative funding in 2018 and permanent cardiologists now on staff at Hilo Medical Center, funding for a second catheterization lab will allow HMC to meet the demand for these services and ensure availability of critical lifesaving equipment. Expansion of the oncology center will improve the clinic treating cancers and as well as blood cancers and disorders. HMC's interventional cardiac program began service on Jan. 1, 2019, with initial funding from the Hawaiʻi legislature in 2018. Since July 1, 2019, interventional cardiac catheterization for the treatment of heart attacks has been made available 24.7 for residents of East Hawaiʻi. Kahele pointed out that, in the last year, more than 40 heart attacks have been treated in the catheterization lab with an additional 181 patients electively treated with stents for heart blockages, preventing future heart attacks.
State Sen. Kai Kahele led the Ways & Means Committee on a tour of Hilo Medical Center in his quest
for more funding for cardiac and cancer care. Photo from Kahele

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.

THREE NEW CASES OF COVID-19 ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND were announced today, with one more on Maui. State Director of Health, Dr. Bruce Anderson said two of the cases on this island were among family members of a COVID-19 victim. "Not unexpected," he said. He wouldn't reveal the location of the new cases on the island but said the two victims are "people who have been living with a confirmed case."
     The other cases reported toady are under investigation. Anderson said, "We've seen over the last couple of weeks that we've been able to keep the case numbers very, very low. The lowest in the country. And I am very pleased with that. But we are going to see new cases."
     He said there is "still a limited community spread and we are going to see clusters from time to time. But our real strength is being able to identify the cases quickly, and the contacts, and of course, be able to isolate and quarantine those as we go."
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
     He did note that recent Hawaiʻi Island cases have been among residents of Hilo and South Kona. "I think the important thing to remember is that we are seeing sporadic cases in the state, which are probably associated with some community spread and unfortunately most of those are associated with known clusters... we can identify pretty much where who-infected-who in these situations. But everything is limited here, and – we believe – very much under control. We haven't seen any situations develop like they have on the mainland, where you have hundreds of cases springing up in a community and they simply are overwhelmed with the number of cases."
     Eighty-two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island since the pandemic began, with 76 recovered. The remaining six are quarantined and monitored by DOH. Statewide, 647 people have been confirmed positive for the virus since the pandemic began.

     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says, "This increase over the past few days are directly related to family connections. The lesson to learn here is how easily this virus can spread. This shows how critically important it is that we continue to practice preventive measures to help stop the spread of this virus. Your help is needed. Thank you for listening and have a good day. Thank you for listening. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense."

     In the United States, more than 1.61 million cases have been confirmed. The death toll is over 95,087.
     Worldwide, more than 5.08 million have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is over 332,000.


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.

LIFTING THE 14-DAY QUARANTINE FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE ISLANDS may come soon, according to Gov. David Ige. During his afternoon press conference, he said he is working closely with counties to open businesses and activities, and lift the interisland quarantine. "Health measures are pointing in the right direction to make this move... with infection levels appearing to be under control across the state." He explained this is important to avoid a high level of cases in one county from impacting another county as people begin to travel. Key issues under discussion with the counties and airlines include, screening, testing, contact tracing, and physical distancing. The governor concluded, "We are also going through the process of identifying other potential issues and welcome any thoughts or suggestions."
     Ige predicted that with interisland travel quarantine lifted there will likely be additional COVID-19 cases, "and we have the capacity to handle it. If a new surge occurs, some restrictions might need to be reinstated." He encouraged everyone to continue engaging in best practices of social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when sick.
A Don Allison romantic map of interisland travel on Aloha Airlines some 60 years ago. The current two-week
quarantine for those traveling interisland during the waning COVID-19 pandemic may be lifted soon. 
     Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a physician who formerly practiced in Kaʻū, said that healthcare capacity is in good shape for resumption of interisland travel. Green reported Hawaiʻi recorded 68 new coronavirus cases since April 21, with 21 cases in the past two weeks. He said the state's hospital system is in great shape, with 39 percent of intensive care unit beds occupied, 51 percent of total hospital beds in use, and only 9 percent of the available ventilators in use. He also indicated that the supply of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers is adequate, with a team under his direction monitoring and ordering additional PPE as needed. He said the team is building up inventory in the event of a worst-case scenario - a major outbreak in the state.
     Green emphasized relying on public health officials to provide guidance for the timing to lift quarantines.

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 TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE PLUS LOSS OF INCOME BY INDEPENDENT WORKERS AND THE SELF-EMPLOYED, is the report from state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The agency made its announcement today showing 24 percent unemployment on Hawaiʻi Island and 22.3 percent statewide in April. The steep rise from March's 2.6 percent on this island and 2.4 percent statewide, came with the COVID-19 pandemic killing tourism and other businesses. Hawaiʻi County, however, suffered less than Maui, with 35 percent unemployment and 34.4 percent on Kauaʻi. Both are more dependent on tourism than Hawaiʻi Island. The national unemployment rate was 14.7 percent in April, up from 4.4 percent in March.

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.

STATE GOVERNMENT ACTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC ARE WELL INTENTIONED BUT SOME THREATEN CIVIL LIBERTIES, according to a Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi opinion piece recently published in the Hawaiʻi Filipino Chronicle.
     The editorial, by Grass Root Institute of Hawaiʻi's Executive Vice President Joe Kent, names the following as threats to liberties: business closures, curfews, checkpoints, and drones, "all restricting our privacy and freedom of movement. The police have issued thousands of warnings, hundreds of citations, and even arrested a number of people, in an attempt to control Hawaiʻi's increasingly restless population."
     The editorial continues: Meanwhile, tourism has tanked, thousands of businesses have been sidelined or destroyed, almost 250,000 formerly productive workers have filed for unemployment, and tax revenues have dried up, leaving our state and counties looking at either massive deficits, big cuts in spending -- or both.
     "Unfortunately, Hawaiʻi policymakers in recent years have spent much of the state's budgetary surplus on nonemergency items, and now it's a struggle for them to deal with the current health and economic emergencies. Obviously, our lawmakers should be cautious about spending money they don't have, especially since it's not clear where that money will come from.
Joe Kent
     "We also need to worry about our unfunded public liabilities, which will only get worse if this
recession persists. Our best hope to get our lives, businesses, and communities back on track is greater economic freedom. In more mainstream quarters, the preference for bigger government has dominated the discussion, but isle policymakers should examine how shrinking government could make a difference. Roll back some of the regulations and taxes that have made it so hard to operate in Hawaiʻi all along. They were a problem before; they are even more of a barrier now.
     "Ironically, some of the emergency measures proclaimed by Gov. David Ige are actually worth keeping, even after the coronavirus emergency has passed. A perfect example was allowing out-of-state medical professionals to practice here. It was one of the most positive actions taken so far to help Hawaiʻi residents through the crisis, and it involved removing government barriers, not enacting them. Other emergency measures we hope will remain permanent include loosening restrictions on telehealth, allowing prescriptions from out-of-state doctors and nurses, and waiving licensing requirements for childcare. Such measures would be beneficial to the state — and the state's public health — long after the coronavirus danger has receded.
     "In terms of accountable government, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi recently joined other watchdog organizations, such as Common Cause Hawaiʻi and the ACLU, to challenge the governor's suspension of the state's open-meetings and open-records laws. Government transparency is critical to a healthy democracy -- all the more so during a crisis when public trust is paramount.
     "For Hawaiʻi to get back on its feet again, isle residents need flexibility and incentives to pursue prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities. Open, accountable government also is critical, if we are truly to be in charge of those policymakers who presume to act on our behalf.
     "Yes, we have been struggling in this time of adversity, but no matter what the challenges, greater economic freedom and limited, accountable government — adopted as quickly as possible — are what Hawaiʻi needs."

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 FREE SUMMER CLASS FOR GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS is offered by the Hawaiʻi Community Colleges. The free classes aim to provide an opportunity to explore career pathways. The summer classes are online and free for eligible students, who will earn college credits upon completion. Students may reserve their spot by signing up at uhcc.hawaii.edu/nextstep.

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 ʻULU-THEMED ART CONTEST DEADLINE IS EXTENDED to June 30. Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative invites all students residing in Hawaiʻi (grades Pre-K through 12) to create and submit original artwork focusing on breadfruit. The art will be featured in an upcoming revʻULUtion traveling art exhibit. Refer to the flyer or visit eatbreadfruit.com/pages/artcontest for more information and to submit an entry.

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.

ʻO KAʻŪ KĀKOU will give away food at the Ocean View Park and Ride area off Highway 11 this Saturday at 11 a.m. Those in need of food will receive chicken, rice, onions, and meat.

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.

COVID-19 HAS REVEALED THE EXTENT OF THE HOUSING CRISIS, according to Habitat for Humanity, Hawaiʻi Island. A statement released today says that "Hawaiʻi Island communities have been hit hard by the economic shocks of COVID-19. The world was already experiencing a housing crisis, but now COVID-19 has revealed the extent of that crisis and added to its urgency." Habitat announced a Homes, Communities, Hope + You campaign as "a unique opportunity for Habitat organizations all around the world to unite as a global network to galvanize communities and emerge from this crisis stronger together. Here on Hawaiʻi Island the needs of families have never been more pronounced. Habitat Hawaiʻi Island needs community support to help ensure that they are able to not just continue but accelerate work to ensure that everyone has a decent place to call home."
     To donate, go to Habitat Hawaiʻi Island's website at habitathawaiiisland.org/donate.

Keone Grace
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.

SUCCESSFUL GRAB & GO LUNCHES FOR THE PUBLIC AT KAʻŪ HOSPITAL will expand to include pizza on Fridays, according to chef and Institutional Food Service Manager Keone Grace. He said the pizzas will be available beginning Friday, May 29 for a medium two-topping pizza either take and bake or precooked for $10. Any additional toppings will be $1 each. Topping choices are: Cheese, Pepperoni, Ground Beef, Ground Pork, Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Chicken, Mushrooms, and Red and Green Bell Pepper. Weekday lunches include chef salads, sandwiches, and hot meals.
     Call in and pay for $8 lunch orders on weekdays and pizza orders on Fridays between 8 a.m and 10 a.m. for pickup after 11 a.m. See the complete menu and contact information at Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar.

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

Café Ono on Old Volcano Highway is offering a special takeout menu for Memorial Day Weekend, this Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, The regular menu is also available. Call ahead to order, 985-8979. See cafeono.net for menu.


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.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou will give away food at the Ocean View Park and Ride area off Highway 11 this Saturday, May 23 at 11 a.m. Those in need of food will receive chicken, rice, onions, and meat.

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.


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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