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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, May 25, 2020

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BLNR rejected an EIS, funded by aquarium fishers and National Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, who propose
that ten permits be issued from Ka Lae up the Kona Coast. BLNR noted that Pākuʻikuʻi, Achilles tang populations
are already depleted. Photo from Waikiki Aquarium
AN EIS FOR AQUARIUM FISH COLLECTING IN WEST KAʻŪ and up the Kona Coast was rejected Friday in a 7-0 decision. The state Board of Land & Natural Resources sent back a more-than 2,000-page Environmental Impact Statement, produced by a group of ten West Hawaiʻi aquarium fishers and the National Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. They propose that Department of Land & Natural Resources issue permits to the ten aquarium fishers. The proposed permits remain before the BLNR for a later decision, pending an acceptable EIS.
     DLNR noted in its statement that in Umberger et. al vs. the Department of Land & Natural Resources, the state Supreme Court required for the first time under Chapter 343, an environmental review before issuing permits for fine-mesh-net aquarium fishing. No permits were issued after the 2017 decision, though aquarium fishing using other gear, less optimal for aquarium fishing but unregulated under Hawaiʻi law, continues. The EIS was funded and carried out by the aquarium fishers seeking permit.
     After reviewing the EIS and testimony, and deliberating for over four hours,  BLNR ruled the EIS inadequate in disclosing potential environmental impacts of ten aquarium fishing permits for West Hawaiʻi.
     Board Chair Suzanne Case stated, "This was a tough process and decision. But the unanimous vote clearly reflects the Board's view that the aquarium fishers' proposal, without meaningful limits on future catch, without enough attention to our highly depleted stocks like pākuʻikuʻi (Achilles tang) and other low-number species, and without adequate analysis of the near-future effects of climate change, ocean warming and coral bleaching on our reefs, did not adequately disclose the potential environmental impacts of the proposed ten permits."
     Hundreds of written testimonies were submitted to BLNR, which is meeting online in response to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. In a significant first for this state agency, the Land Board took oral testimony during the online meeting from over a dozen members of the community who signed up to testify live before the board on the matter.
     See more on the EIS in the April 26 edition of the Kaʻū News Briefs. Read the entire EIS here.

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 MEMORIAL DAY with statements issued by public officials. Sen. Mazie Hirono wrote:
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tweeted this Memorial Day photo.
     "On Memorial Day, our nation comes together to honor the lives and sacrifices of the service members who have fallen in service to their country. As a state with strong ties to the military, we recognize that just as we commemorate those we've lost, we must continuously reaffirm our commitment to supporting the families and loved ones they've left behind. While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of our traditional remembrance ceremonies, we can still join with one another to pay homage to those we've lost and reflect on their enduring legacy. During this pandemic, we can demonstrate that by doing our part to keep our communities safe."
     U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sent out this message referring to the young child visiting the graves of soldiers: "In another life, you two would be holding hands and he'd be learning about this place and who these heroes are from you. You'd say their names, he'd repeat them. But not in this life. In this life you are a hero too. So we will always speak your name."
     Gov. David Ige directed the United States and Hawai‘i state flags to be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol and upon all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard in the State of Hawai‘i, on Memorial Day, until noon. He noted that the President "proclaims Memorial Day a day of prayer for permanent peace... and asks that Americans observe the National Moment of Remembrance." 
     State Sen. Kail Kahele wrote: "On Dec. 7, 1941, the United States was attacked at the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaiʻi. We lost over 2,400 American lives that day. Memorial Day is an extremely significant holiday to us here at home in Hawaiʻi as we reflect on all those we have lost in battle. Today we say thank you to all the brave men and women who have sacrificed to serve our country, and we honor the memory of all the servicemen and women who are no longer with us. It is thanks to their sacrifices that we are all here today."

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 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MEMBER RICHARD CREAGAN announced he will file his papers this week to run again to represent West Kaʻū into Kona. Here is his announcement:
     " I pulled papers to file for re-election a couple of months ago but have not had the time or opportunity to file. I am hereby announcing that I am filing to re-run this coming week. I also want to announce a profound change in how I will run for office and how my office will support my district.
     "We have entered a new era: the era of COVID-19. That disease is an existential threat to our state but also in my view an opportunity. We are the only state that can potentially defeat and eradicate COVID-19.
     "I am currently the Chair of the Agriculture Committee and it is likely that I could remain as that Chair if reelected. However, a lot of my attention and energy is devoted to the 'Stamp it Out, and Keep it Out' effort to rid our state of this virus while opening up and empowering our economy.
Marilyn and Richard Creagan at their farm in Kaʻū.
     "I have had a career as an emergency physician. That specialty is on the front line of the fight against COVID-19. I have also been involved in academic research at Yale University and the University of Connecticut Medical School, studying the genetics of human diseases and of immune responses to diseases - and some of that research is of import to the COVID-19 pandemic.
     "I worked for our Hawaiʻi State Department of Health as an epidemiological investigator in 2002-2003 during the SARS outbreak, and have insight into the strengths and limitations of our state Department of Health.
     "With colleagues from Yale and their colleagues from UC Berkeley, I helped found and run a biotech vaccine company called Agrion, and was Planning Director and Medical Director of that company. I hold patents in vaccine design and production, and viral inactivation. I understand that we may not be able to design and produce an effective vaccine; after 40 years, we still do not have an HIV/AIDS vaccine. Attempts to make vaccine against past coronavirus outbreaks (SARS and MERS) were unsuccessful.
     "That background is very important for my understanding of this COVID pandemic, and how I can help my fellow legislators and our state deal with this health and economic crisis.
     "Unfortunately, one of the most problematic aspects of this pandemic is that kūpuna over 65 are at high risk and those over 80 are perhaps 100 times more likely to die than someone in their teens or twenties.
Colehour and Melanie Bondera will assist Creagan
with agricultural issues.
     "I am over 70 years of age and am at significantly higher risk of dying or becoming disabled if I am infected with COVID-19 than my younger colleagues. While I had decided to run one more time before the COVID pandemic hit, after it hit our country and our state, I had to debate with myself and my wife whether I should run again in this new COVID era. Being a neighbor island representative means flying weekly to the Capitol during our legislative session, leaving the relatively safe Big Island to go to Oʻahu. Apart from the danger to my own health or even my life, I would not want my district to be inadequately represented if I became ill.
     "I decided to run because I strongly believe that we can defeat this disease in Hawaiʻi (some of my ideas are outlined in an article published in Civil Beat and Kaʻū News Briefs, entitled How to Make Hawaiʻi a COVID-Free State. I want to fight this force that threatens to devastate our nation and our state.
     "But I also know that our agricultural sector also needs to be even more strongly supported to provide the food that our communities need. I have therefore selected Colehour Bondera as my office manager. You will see his qualifications elsewhere, but he and his spouse are a power couple in the agricultural sector. He will focus on agriculture while I will focus on COVID-19. They are also in a lower risk age group for COVID, so could soldier on if I became ill. We are therefore running as a team. I think that either Colehour or Melanie would be fantastic candidates to replace me and I hereby pledge to not run in 2022, and to support either of them if they decide to run. In the meantime, your interests will be doubly represented in the State."
     Read more on the Bonderas in an upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs.

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 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
NO NEW COVID-19 CASES IN HAWAIʻI, reports the Department of Health. Eighty-one cases of COVID-19 have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island since the pandemic began, with 79 recovered. The remaining two victims are quarantined and monitored by DOH. Statewide, 643 people – 414 in HonoluluCounty, 20 in Kauaʻi County, and 118 in MauiCounty– have been confirmed positive for the virus since the pandemic began.

     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says, "It was announced by Hawaiʻi County that medium risk businesses such as salons, restaurants, barber shops, and places of worship may begin reopening June 1st. The individual opening dates will be dependent on their readiness to meet the requirements of safety. If assistance is needed in meeting the requirements please call the Hawaiʻi County's Task Force at 935-0031.

     "During this holiday weekend, when we gather and enjoy the lifestyle of Hawaiʻi, please continue practicing the policies of distancing, gatherings, cleanliness, face coverings, staying at home if you are sick, and keeping yourself physically and emotionally healthy. Please be safe on this very special weekend of remembrance in honor of the men and women who died serving our great nation. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense."

     In the United States, more than 1.7 million cases have been confirmed. The death toll is over 99,459.
     Worldwide, more than 5.47 million have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is over 345,000.

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.

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 on weekdays (no holidays). 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 that 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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