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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, February 9, 2021

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Kamanaʻo Church at Miloli`i, one of the oldest churches in Hawai`i, built around 1837, is shown in 
a new daily Hawaiian word of the day post by Congressman Kai Kahele. See more below.

HAWAI`I'S FINANCIAL PICTURE was the subject of a news conference by Gov. David Ige today, when he gave near-term and post-pandemic predictions. "We are continually monitoring our state revenues, advocating for federal funding, and doing all that we can to provide much needed programs to help people in need," said the governor.
     Key points included the state's Fiscal Biennium Budget and Financial Plan submitted to the Legislature; the federal government passing an aid package in December to assist with the state's pandemic response - with another package under consideration. 
    He noted that the state Department of Taxation's Council on Revenues increased its revenue projections for Hawaiʻi by over $2 billion over seven years. The state's revenue this January was down by -9.4 percent. "We still have significant revenue shortfall," said Ige, predicting that full recovery to pre-pandemic levels will not arrive until 2024. He said the State Financial Plan has been updated reflecting the latest information.
The state Department of Taxation not only collects taxes from citizens, it keeps
 track of the state's income to make sure it can pay its bills. Its Council on Revenues
 also predicts the state's income into the future to help with budgeting.
     The big budget cut for the schools has been reduced from 10 percent to 2.5 percent, restoring $123 million to the classrooms. Furloughing teachers and staff has been delayed at least until July.
      The governor gave a big mahalo to Hawaiʻi 's Congressional delegation "for advocating on our behalf. They know how important it is to the people of Hawaiʻi that federal aid be directed to the states so we can continue to provide needed services."
      Ige said there are priorities for the use of President Joe Biden't relief package, should it pass Congress. They include: Increase funding for public school education; fund unemployment insurance and repay the state's $700 million unemployment insurance loan; eliminate program budget cuts and labor savings; repay a $750 million loan that helped the state make its payroll; and develop a statewide broadband network.
     "While I'm cautiously optimistic about the economic recovery, it is fragile. Until additional federal aid is approved, we must be prudent and plan accordingly," commented the governor.

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See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

COFFEE GROWERS ARE ASKING FOR HELP to subsidize their fight against pests Coffee Leaf Rust and Coffee Berry Borer. In testimony Monday, Hawaiʻi Coffee Association President Chris Manfredi said the organization "strongly supports SB855," a measure before the Hawaiʻi Legislature.
    Manfredi said,"The CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program has been a success story for Hawaiʻi's coffee producers. It helps offset some of the high costs of coffee production, making Hawaiʻi a bit more competitive with growers located across the globe. Moreover, the HCA applauds the additional support to control and mitigate the impacts of Coffee Leaf Rust. Coffee leaf rust (CLR) has been discovered on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Oʻahu and Lanaʻi.
    "CLR poses a devastating threat to Hawaii’s coffee industry. CLR is known to spread rapidly and leads to defoliation and tree death. The discovery of Coffee Leaf Rust in Hawaiʻi is an emergency and requires an emergency response. Coffee is ranked by USDA as Hawaiʻi’s second highest value crop, second only to seed corn. The typical coffee farm in Hawaiʻi is a small family farm, yet the largest farm in the state is also a coffee farm."
    Manfredi recommended that lawmakers and the public learn more details regarding Hawaiʻi’s coffee industry impacts on the State’s economy by reading What’s at Stake: The Loss of  Hawaiʻi’s Coffee Industry, A Major Economic Driver.
  He noted that in response to the Coffee Leaf Rust invasion, Hawaiʻi Coffee Association  mobilized by hosting weekly conference calls among  Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal Animal  Plant Health Inspection Service, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, UH College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, Hawaiʻi Agriculture Research Center, lawmakers, other commodity groups and industry leaders.
     "We have developed a Strategic Plan. UH was already working on approvals for systemic fungicides for use on coffee that are approved for use on other crops. Our entire industry is working collaboratively to accelerate this process."
     He noted that "One of our largest producers was met by insurmountable headwinds when they tried to import rust resistant varietals three short years ago. We are working with USDA and HDOA to streamline the importation and quarantine process for rust resistant coffee varieties and to build capacity of quarantine facilities. 
    "Like so many other industries we are reeling in the wake of COVID. Our member surveys indicate that most producers’ sales were severely impacted (80% or more), but unlike many other industries ours is layered with a devastating coffee disease that threatens our existence."
     Manfredi said, "We support a the establishment of the position of CLR coordinator to work on this problem full-time. We understand there are often long delays for hiring within state government and sometimes positions that are allocated go unfilled. We ask that HDOA be empowered to immediately issue a contract for a CLR response coordinator that can fulfill this mission while a more permanent position can be funded, recruited and filled. We respectfully ask that you amend this measure to provide for short- and longterm relief in this capacity."
     He said Hawaiʻi Coffee Association sees another impending need as "replacement of existing coffee trees with rust resistant varieties. The cost of this replacement will drive many farms out of business."
    Manfredi suggested that the state Division of Forestry & Wildlife expand its Hawaiʻi Forest Stewardship Program, which began in 1991 through passage of Act 327 by the Hawaiʻi Legislature. "We ask the Legislature to expand that program to provide eligibility for coffee trees or to model a similar program to assist coffee farmers in the replacement of coffee trees."
    Testimony can be sent through the Hawaiʻi Legislature portal. Read the measure at  https://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=855&year=2021

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See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

PUBLIC ACCESS ROOM AT THE HAWAIʻI LEGISLATURE issued an update, partway through the 2021 session with tips on finding out what'g going on. 
    "The lateral deadline is coming up quickly! In order to succeed, all bills should be in the last committee of their originating chamber by February 19. While about 17% of the bills received single referrals (were referred to only one committee) and aren’t affected by the lateral deadline, the others need to get through their first committee or committees in order to survive. Wonder what the legislative landscape looks like
after the deadline? From the legislature’s website, capitol.hawaii.gov, click on the 'Reports and Lists' button. The page opens in the 'Deadline Tracking' view, and you can use the links listed under 'First Lateral' to find bills that are still alive. Throughout session, after major deadlines, you can use the 'Deadline Tracking' feature to view the diminishing lists of surviving bills."
    PAR also advises: "Now that session is in full swing, you may have already exercised your chance to offer written and remote oral testimony. As bills move forward, you may decide to ask others to join you in your efforts — think of friends, colleagues, and family members. You can refer them to the Public Access Room for help, or direct them to our “Engagement 101” page for a how-to video and instructions, as well as tips and sample testimony. Trying to get someone involved who doesn’t have a computer or access to the internet? The Hawaii State Public Library System is ready to help. They have equipment, wi-fi access, and assistance available for patrons who want to participate in the State legislative process. Find more information here: https://www.librarieshawaii.org/ participate-in-the-hawaii-state-legislative-process/ ."

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COVID-19 VACCINES ON SATURDAY, FEB. 20 IN KAʻŪ will be available at the Bay Clinic in Nāʻālehu. Coordinated by Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association and Bay Clinic, vaccines will be for Kupuna 75 years and older and administered by Bay Clinic. To register call 965-3048.
    For more, contact Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association at 928-0101

THREE NEW COVID-19 CASES were reported today for Hawaiʻi Island by the state Department of Health; 24 for Oʻahu, seven for Maui and zero for Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi, and Lanaʻi. Three residents were diagnosed outside the state. Total cases in Hawaiʻi since the pandemic began are 26,531 with 418 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

ONE OF TOP FIVE HEALTHIEST PLACES TO LIVE IN THE U.S. IS IN HAWAIʻI, according to a WalletHub study released on Monday. The focus is on cities with San Francisco first, followed by Seattle, Portland, San Diego and Honolulu. The lease healthiest listed is Brownsville, and Laredo, both in Texas, Gulfport, Mississippi, Shreveport, Louisiana and Memphis. The only other city listed in Hawaiʻi is Pearl City and it ranks at 65th.
    Metrics used in the study includes green space - Honolulu ranked fifth. It ranked 11th in food, 12th in health care and 57th in fitness. Green space includes parkland acres per capita, quality of parks, hiking trails per capita, biking opportunities, physical activity access and quality of air.
    See more at https://wallethub.com/edu/healthiest-cities/31072

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FEBRUARY IS HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE MONTH. It has drawn Kaʻū's Representative in Congress Kai Kahale to post a Hawaiian Word of the Day with translation, punctuation and illustration. One of his first words is Hale Pule, which means church. The word is accompanied by a photo of Kamanaʻo Church at Miloliʻi, one of the oldest church buildings in Hawaiʻi, built around 1837. (See photo above). During its long history, it was carried out to sea and back by a tidal wave and villagers rolled it on coco palm trunks to its new place. This Hale Pule earned the nickname The Church that Surfed. The congregation belongs to the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches. See music, services and more on its facebook.
    Other Kahele posts for the daily Hawaiian word are Lio for horse; Pāpale for hat; ʻOnipaʻa, which means to remain steadfast; Kākou, which means inclusive, Haʻahaʻa, humility; Kōkua, which stands for health, aid, assistance and relief; and Mālama - preserving, protecting and honoring traditions.
     See Hawaiian Word of the Day on Kahele's Congressional facebook.

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



SIGN UP SOON
Read at kaucalendar.com The Kaʻū Calendar is free, 7,500 
distributed to stands and all postal addresses throughout Kaʻū,
  Miloliʻi through Volcano. Read online at kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com
 and facebook.com/kaucalendar. To advertise your 
business or your social cause, contact kaucalendarads@gmail.com.

TEMPORARY SUMMER JOBS ARE AVAILABLE through Hawaiʻi County Department of Parks & Recreation for Summer Fun at Kaʻū District Gym and Nāʻālehu Community Center, June 3 - July 16. The job is to work with keiki. Applicants must possess a current First Aid certification, submit a completed Summer Fun application, and be available to work June 3 through July 16, 2021. Summer Fun starts June 7, following a mandatory two-day training period for all temporary employees.
    Summer Fun applications are available online at 
https://www.parks.hawaiicounty.
gov/facilities-parks/recreation, the Recreation Division Office at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, and various County gymnasiums located around the island. 
    Completed applications must be filed with the Recreation Division or postmarked by Feb. 12. All inquires may be directed to the Recreation Division at 961-8740. 

IN-PERSON EVENTS

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY IS OPEN TO IN-PERSON TRAFFIC Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. It features and sells works by local artists and offers other gift items.
    Kaʻū Art Gallery's website has 24/7 access online and is frequently updated to show current inventory items. "We are always looking to collaborate with local artists in our community," said assistant Alexandra Kaupu. Should anyone have an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz

A BRUSH WITH LIGHT gives the public a chance to "immerse in Hawaiʻi Island’s magnificent landscapes and plants," says the statement from Volcano Art Center. Catherine Robbins’ "evocative oil paintings" are in the solo exhibition, A Brush with Light – Volcanic Island Reflections, at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The show runs through Feb. 14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday – Sunday.

GOLF & SOCIAL MEMBERSHIPS for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse. The new Club offers Social Memberships, with future use of the clubhouse and current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramic ocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities. Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email clugatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

HIKE ONE OF THE MANY open trails, drive to the overlooks in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park at Volcano and Kahuku units. See nps.gov/havo.

WALK THROUGH A GUIDED NATURE TRAIL & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email programs@volcanoartcenter.org. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222 

VOLCANO GARDEN ART'S SECRET GARDEN WALK is on free trails to the public. Sponsor Ira Ona describes the “Historical garden with many native plants. We have just created a self-guided nature walk in my new secret garden which is carved out of an upland native Hawaiian forest. Open to walk throughout the week, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanogardenarts.com, 985-8979, Located on Old Volcano Hwy in Volcano Village.

KaiLoki's, at the old Mehe's location in Ocean View, offers live music and karaoke on a to-be-determined schedule, along with a locally-sourced menu and bar. See facebook.com/KaiLokis.

Free Lifetime Entry for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks. Details at rb.gy/k3evh6.

OUTDOOR MARKETS

VOLCANO FARMERS MARKET, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Hawai‘i Coffee. Cooper Center's EBT Machine, used at the Farmer's Market, is out of service until further notice. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

Volcano Farmers Market. Photo by Julia Neal

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY MARKET, open Saturdays and Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Managed by Mark Council. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in upper lot only. Vendors must provide own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling encouraged.

ʻO KAʻŪ KĀKOU MARKET, in Nāʻālehu, open Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers per hour, 20 vendor booths, with 20 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing required, social distancing enforced. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374 (voice or text) or kaufarmer@aol.com for more and to apply to vend. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

OCEAN VIEW SWAP MEET is open at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.

BUY LOCAL GIFTS ONLINE, IN-PERSON

VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES CALENDARS, t-shirts, and sweatshirts sales raise money for the school. Review the calendar at rb.gy/tmxzva. Order the Calendar using this form: rb.gy/ytekoz. Send payment or donations to VSAS PayPal, 
paypal.com/paypalme/VolcanoSchool. To buy t-shirts and sweatshirts, order from here: rb.gy/2a4cim. Send in order forms and payment to the main office: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785. For a printed copy of the order form to be mailed, contact Kaye at 985-9800, knagamine@volcanoschool.net. Contact Kanani at kwylie@volcanoschool.net for more information and assistance with ordering.

VOLCANO ART CENTER ONLINE, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222. 

KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL & VISITOR CENTER. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 pm.

PUNALUʻU BAKESHOP online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing alihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE COMPANY. Order online at aikaneplantation.com. Call 808-927-2252

MIRANDA'S FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE. Order online at mirandafarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy, Nāʻālehu.

KUAHIWI RANCH STORE, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass-fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email kaohi@kuahiwiranch.com

 CHURCH SERVICES

OCEAN VIEW EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY CHURCH holds services on Sundays beginning with Sing-Along on the Square at 10:15 a.m., followed by Sunday Morning Service at 11 a.m. In-person services following CDC Guidelines and Hawaii mandates by using hand sanitizer, wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. 
Music and Sermons are posted to FaceBook.com/OVECC. Also see FaceBook.com/OVECC for more. The church campus for Ocean View Evangelical Community Church
is 92-8977 Leilani Circle. Call 808-939-9089 or call 928-8039 or 937-2155.

ST. JUDE'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH SERVICES and worship are posted online at StJudesHawaii.org. Join the Aloha Hour via Zoom at 11 a.m. on Sundays, at rb.gy/3jfbzd, Meeting ID: 684 344 9828, Password: Aloha. Weekly hot meals, hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Check the webpage for Christmas services.

HOPE DIA-MEND MINISTRIES holds outdoor services Sundays at 9:45 a.m. at 92-898 Ginger Blossom Lane in Ocean View. Masks and distancing required. For help and/or to donate, call or text Pam and Lance Ako at 808-937-6355, or call the Ministry at 808-920-8137. See them on Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

HELP FOR HEALTH & COVID TESTING

KAʻŪ HOSPITAL offers COVID testing referral from the ER, a physician or a Kaʻū Clinic health provider.

FREE DRIVE-THRU COVID Testing, Saturdays at Kea‘au High School in Puna, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays at Konawaena High School from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Civic Auditorium in Hilo from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (enter from Kuawa Street entrance). No co-pay, no insurance necessary, but bring insurance card if have. People do not have to have symptoms in order to be tested. Social distancing must be observed and face coverings must be worn at all times. For more, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

MICRONESIAN COVID-19 Helpline is supported by We Are Oceania, weareoceania.org, to help with identifying COVID-19 symptoms, testing, quarantine, health insurance, housing, unemployment. Call (808) 913-1364. Watch the video at facebook.com/watch/?v=989579144844697.

DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? Call Department of Health's expanded Hawai‘i C.A.R.E.S. program at 1-800-753-6879 – the same number previously used by Crisis Line of Hawai‘i. Individuals in crisis can also text ALOHA to 741741, available 24/7.

LEARN SELF-CARE THROUGH Big Island Substance Abuse Council's Practice Self-Care Series. For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at facebook.com/bhhsurg.

KAʻŪ WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE OFFERS HEALTH PROGRAMS. Piko focuses on reproductive health; increasing access, respect, cultural competence, education, and choice. Pilina aims to grow membership and establish a culture of collaborative decision-making. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.com. Call 808-450-0498.

RESOURCES FOR LGBTQ+, Loved Ones, and Allies at Sexual and Gender Minority online resource hub at health.hawaii.gov/camhd/lgbtq-safe-spaces.

TALK STORY on Nā Leo TV series aims to help deliver accurate and current information to Hawaiʻi Island residents. Airs live Thursdays at 10 a.m. on Spectrum Channel 53, streaming on Nā Leo's free mobile app, and on-demand at naleo.tv/covid19.

HEALTH AND FITNESS FOR KUPUNA at 808b-fit.com, contains videos for kūpuna to play and move along with. There are videos for stretching, tai chi, yoga, dancing, dance fitness, bon dance, hula, chair dancing, and chair yoga.

YOGA WITH EMILY Catey Weiss, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration required; $5 per class. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222.

CHOOSE ALOHA FOR HOME is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together using neuroscience and positive psychology. Program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics." Sign up at chooselovemovement.org/choose-love-home.

FOOD RELIEF

PICK UP FOOD WEEKDAYS n the parking lot of ACE Hardware in Ocean View from Hope DIA-mend Ministries TLC at 4:45 p.m. About 300 meals available each day, coordinated by pastors Pam and Lance Ako. For help or to donate, call or text Ako at 808-937-6355, or call 808-920-8137. See them on Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

EMERGENCY FOOD BOXES available at Cooper Center Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Call ahead, 967-7800. 


FREE FOOD FOR KEIKI offered at Resilience Hub, Nāʻālehu Hongwanji on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 4 p.m. The Hub also features drop-in WiFi and laptop access. Location is 95-5695 Hawaiʻi Belt Rd. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927, for more.

EDUCATION

Virtual presentation, Sea Turtles in Hawaiʻi. Register to watch at rb.gy/rkd2fd

Free WiFi Access for Students is available in Pāhala, Nāʻālehu, and Ocean View through Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary. Questions? See khpes.org or call 313-4100.

Resilience Hub at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Drop-in wifi and laptop access, free meals for participating keiki. Follows all county, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927. Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org or info@bgcbi.org.

ʻOhana Help Desk offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads at rb.gy/8er9wm. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Invite Park Rangers to Virtually Visit Classes, through connecting with teachers and home-schoolers with distance learning programs and virtual huakaʻi (field trips). Contact havo_education@nps.gov.

Weekly Virtual Town Meetings, hosted by Ka`u High & Kaʻū Elementary, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Discussion topics include attendance, best practices, Grab-n-Go meals, school updates, questions and feedback, and more. Go to KHPES.org for Live WebEx link.

Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Public Libraries, open for WiFi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. WiFi available to anyone with a library card, from each library parking lot. See librarieshawaii.org.

Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books replenished weekly at both sites.

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k

Watch Hawaiʻi's 28th Annual Filipino Fiesta and 8th Flores de Mayo virtual celebration at rb.gy/b53jgn.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through Papakilo Database, papakilodatabase.com.

Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov. Ask questions and discuss all things legislative in a non-partisan environment. Attend Coffee Hour with PAR: Fridays at 3 p.m. on Zoom, meeting ID 990 4865 9652 or click zoom.us/j/99048659652. PAR staff will be available to answer questions and to discuss the legislative process. Anyone wanting to listen in without taking part in discussions is welcome. Learn more at lrb.hawaii.gov/public-access-room.

ECONOMIC RELIEF

Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.

COMMUNITY

Food Assistance: Apply for The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences COVID-19 Family Relief Funds. Funded by Volcano Community Association, and members of the VSAS Friends and Governing Boards, who have donated, the fund supplies KTA or Dimple Cheek Gift Cards, or gift cards to other locally owned business, to VSAS families in need. Contact Kim Miller at 985-8537, kmiller@volcanoschool.net. Contributions to the fund can be sent in by check to: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785 – write Relief Fund in the memo. See volcanoschool.net.

Marketing Assistance, for small businesses affected by COVID-19, from University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo faculty and the senior class at bit.ly/2YvFxsl. 

Apply for Utility Assistance to pay for electricity, non-government water, or gas. Applicants must be a Hawaiʻi Island resident, at least 18 years old, lost income or work hours due to COVID-19, and not previously received assistance from other COVID-19 federal or state-funded programs. Funded by CARES Act and distributed by Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, required documents for application are government-issued identification, income verification documents for all household members, utility statement with address of services, lease/rental agreement or mortgage document, and proof of hardship. Hardship may include, but not limited to, pay stubs documenting pre-COVID-19 income, unemployment approval letter, or layoff letter. Apply at HCEOC.net or call 808-961-2681.

Apply for Expanded Hawaiʻi County Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program. Contact RMAP partners: Hawaiian Community Assets/Hawaiʻi Community Lending, HawaiianCommunity.net, 808-934-0801; HOPE Services Hawaiʻi, hopeserviceshawaii.org/rmap, 808-935- 3050; Hawai‘i First Federal Credit Union, hawaiifirstfcu.com/pathways, 808-933- 6600; Neighborhood Place of Puna, neighborhoodplaceofpuna.org/coronavirus-rent-mortgage-relief, 808-965-5550; Hawai‘i Island Home for Recovery, hihrecovery.org/RMAP, 808-640-4443 or 808- 934-7852; Habitat for Humanity Hawai‘i Island, habitathawaiiisland.org/rmap.html, 808-450-2118.

Apply for Holomua Hawaiʻi Relief Grants for small businesses and nonprofits, up to $10,000, support core operations, safe on-going and reopening costs, personal protective equipment, and training and technical assistance. The business or nonprofit must employ 50 people or fewer. See rb.gy/v2x2vy.

Receive Help Over the Phone with Critical Financial Issues, through Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Financial Navigators from County of Hawaiʻi, in partnership with Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. Complete webform at hawaiifirstfcu.com/community-resource-center or call 808-933-6600. Contact Sharon Hirota at 808-961-8019 with questions.


AGRICULTURE

QUALIFY TO BECOME A BEGINNING FARMER OR RANCHER and receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture To qualify for status as a beginning farmer or rancher: Applicants must be an individual. Business entities may receive benefits only if all of the substantial beneficial interest holders (ten percent or more) of the business entity qualify as beginning farmers or ranchers. For example, a son moves home to take over the family farm and incorporates with his spouse and neither have previous farming experience. Their corporation would qualify as a beginning farmer/rancher. However, if a son moves home and forms a corporation with his father, who has had an insurable interest in crops or livestock for more than five crop years, the corporation cannot receive beginning farmer and rancher benefits. Although the son qualifies as a beginning farmer or rancher, the father does not so the corporation cannot receive benefits; and
    Applicants must not have actively operated and managed a farm or ranch anywhere, with an insurable interest in any crop or livestock for more than five crop years (ten years for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection). This includes an insurable interest as an individual or as a substantial beneficial interest holder (ten percent or more) in another person who has an insurable interest in any crop or livestock. Applicants may exclude a crop year's insurable interest if they were under the age of 18, enrolled in post-secondary studies (not to exceed five crop years) or on active duty in the U.S. military.

CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM enrollment ends Feb. 12. Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Program can sign up for the program until Friday, Feb. 12. The competitive program provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation. 
     Contact AskUSDA at (833) ONE-USDA with representatives available 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays. The website, ask.usda.gov is available 24/7 and includes live chat agents available 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time to askusda@usda.gov.

Women Farmers can Register with Hawaiʻi Women Farmers Directory, a statewide online directory of women-operated farms, ranches, and agribusinesses. Visit the program website to register, rb.gy/87fn9d.


Coffee Growers are urged to take a survey on how the pandemic is affecting them by Hawaiʻi Coffee Association. Take the survey here: surveymonkey.com/r/638VWS6.

Program to Sell Produce and Meats on Hawaiʻi Island from commercial farmers and livestock producers on Hawai‘i Island for distribution to families in need. Learn more at rb.gy/exzuk1

Native Hawaiian Farmers and Ranchers urged to use U.S. Dept. of Ag On-Farm Market Directory. Visit the program website, ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/onfarm.

Read About Seed Biodiversity for Hawaiʻi's Local Food System in It all Begin and Ends with Seed, where Education by Outreach Coordinator Nancy Redfeather shares her insights. Read the blog at rb.gy/ijai3y.

Find Grants and Loans Offered to Farmers and Ranchers, at oahuaca.org. The website has a new search feature. Find Rangeland Management Resources at globalrangelands.org/state/hawaii.

Learn Basics of Organic Farming, via free modules at rb.gy/4wio2y.

PETS & WILDLIFE

One-Time Emergency Food For Pets is available through KARES. Call David or Barbara Breskin at 319-8333.

Report Humpback Whales in Trouble at NOAA Fisheries 24 hour hotline, 1-888- 256-984. Also report distressed sea turtles, monk seals and dolphins.

For free Veterinary Care, Spay & Neuter, visit hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email petsupport@hihs.org. Call 808-217- 0154. All appointments must be scheduled in advance and are open to healthy dogs and cats. Two pets per family will be accommodated, each pet with own appointment. Unavailable to animals other than dogs and cats. Unavailable to strays and those with contagious illnesses.

Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station is open Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Recycling services available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. "White goods" appliance collection services will accept one appliance per resident per day. Customers need to check in with the facility attendant before dropping an appliance off at the facility. No unattended drop-offs allowed. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org or call 961-8270. 

Ocean View Transfer Station is open Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection will continue as usual on Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org or call 961-8270. 

Sign Up for Solid Waste Operations Alerts at rb.gy/iemgrc for site closures, service hours, and more.

   




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