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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, March 6, 2021

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Schools in Ka`u, like Na`alehu Elementary with this newly renovated gym, could receive assistance from the
$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act that passed the U.S. Senate today and is expected to sail through the House to
the signature of the President.
Photo by Bob Martin

HAWAI‘I POISES TO BENEFIT FROM $1.9 TRILLION AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT: The U.S Senate passed the massive coronavirus relief passage today, and sent the bill to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass and go to the President for his signature in just a few days.
     Both Hawai‘i Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono voted for it. Benefits that could reach Kaʻū  include aid for schools, farmers and ranchers, local government, small businesses, non-profits, Native Hawaiian health and vaccine distribution, along with rent and mortgage assistance.   
    Hirono said, "By passing the American Rescue Plan, the Senate has taken bold action to put money into peoples’ pockets, help our schools re-open safely, support state and local governments, speed vaccine distribution, expand health care access, and so much more. COVID-19 has touched every family and community in Hawai‘i and across our country. With so many still out of work and unable to pay their mortgages and bills, it was crucial for the Senate to pass a sweeping relief bill that meets the urgency of the moment facing our country."
    Schatz said, "The federal government can still be a force for good. Oftentimes there are these big bills that are a decidedly mixed bag, and I vote yes because the good outweighs the bad. This bill is different. It’s just excellent. And monumental." He pointed to the COVID-19 relief package providing state and county assistance of at least $2.2 billion for Hawai‘i: 
For education, at least $634 million will help fund Hawai‘i schools, with $391 million for Elementary and Secondary School (K-12) Emergency Relief Funding. At least $78 million must be used to address learning loss. An additional $85 million is specifically for Native Hawaiian Education Programs. An estimated $98 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund will support Hawai‘i’s colleges and universities.     
Money could flow into small businesses, including eligible farms in Kaʻū through American Rescue Plan.
Photo by Julia Neal


                             For Agriculture, funding is $4 billion nationally to support purchase of agricultural commodities from farmers and ranchers, grants, and loans for small and medium-sized food processors and distributors (including seafood) for measures to respond to and protect workers from COVID, and for food supply chain resiliency. Nationally, $1 billion will provide technical assistance and institutional support for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, including Native Hawaiians. The American Rescue Plan also gives the USDA authority to provide farm loan assistance by making payments of up to 120 percent of outstanding agricultural loans as of Jan. 1, 2021, made to farmers and ranchers from socially disadvantaged groups.     
State and Local budgets suffering tax revenue loss due to the pandemic with the dispersement of $36 million to County of Hawai‘i; $1.6 billion to State of Hawai‘i; $365 million to City & County of Honolulu; $13 million to County of Kaua‘i and $30 million to County of Maui. Another $116 million will go to the State of Hawai‘i for critical capital projects to enable work, education, and healthcare in response to the pandemic.  
Small businesses and non-profits will receive $60 billion in funding nationally. An additional $7.25 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses and non-profits will help them maintain existing workforce and pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities. Hawai‘i small businesses and non-profits have received more than $900 million in PPP loans so far in 2021, adding to the $2.5 billion Hawai‘i small businesses and non-profits received in 2020. This bill expands eligibility for non-profits and internet-only news and periodical publishers.
Rent, mortgage, utilities assistance will be available to Kaʻū residents
and small businesses  through the American Rescue Plan.
Photo by Bob Martin
Small Business Administration will make $25 billion in grants to restaurants, bars, and other food and drinking establishments. Grants will be available in an amount equal to a business’s pandemic-related revenue loss, up to $10 million (and $5 million per physical location) Eligible entities include restaurants, food stands and food trucks, caterers, bars and lounges, brewpubs and tasting rooms, inns, taverns, and similar businesses, including those located in airport terminals
    Funding can be used for a wide variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance expenses (including construction to accommodate outdoor seating), supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials), food and beverage expenses, operational expenses, and paid sick leave.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grants of $1.25 billion through SBA is for theaters, museums, and other live entertainment venues. This bill will now allow eligible entities to access both the SVO grant program and PPP, which was previously prohibited.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan emergency advance grants totaling $15 billion nationally will be reserved for the smallest and most severely impacted businesses in low-income communities.
State Small Business Credit Initiative is renewed with at least $60 million for Hawai‘i, administered by the Department of the Treasury. The updated program provides low-cost loans and equity investments in small businesses.
       See more in Sunday's Ka`u News Briefs.

 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

EIGHT NEW CASES OF CORONAVIRUS were reported on this island today by the state Department of Health, with one person hospitalized. No deaths were reported in the last nine weeks. This time last year, the first deaths happened in the U.S. and this state was considering banning cruise ships to prevent the spread.

A coronavirus image that startled people
last year this time as the pandemic spread.

    Today, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense sent out a reminder: "Know that the mandates requiring the preventive measures of wearing face coverings, maintaining six-foot distancing and gatherings of no more than ten persons continue for Hawai‘ Island, please do your part to follow these measures so we may keep virus case numbers low. This requirement includes all persons that have received their vaccinations as well."
    The Department of Health will start to open vaccine registration to those 70 and older beginning on Monday, March 8. Medical facilities and pharmacies on Hawai‘i Island will continue to offer vaccine registration to those 75 and older. Those with questions regarding vaccine availability for age groups can contact Department of Health at 300-1120.

 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.
This telephoto image of the western vent was taken from the west rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater, at Kīlauea summit. 
An incandescent opening near the top of the cone (center) was producing rare spatter on February 12. The
 inlet into the lava lake is visible in the upper-center. SO2 emission rates remain elevated. 
USGS photo by L. DeSmither

VOLCANO WATCH EXPLAINS SEISMICITY PRECEDING NEW KĪLAUEA CRATER ERUPTION. Here is the weekly column written by USGS scientists and affiliates:
    Pele returned to the summit of Kīlauea on the evening of Dec. 20, 2020. Incredible video documents the start of the new eruption in Halema'uma'u and the dynamic ongoing activity. There was no significant change that suggested lava would erupt again so rapidly, but there were subtle signs of restless behavior around Kīlauea's summit in the months prior to the eruption.
    The exact onset of preceding activity is hard to pin-point, but a notable increase began on Oct. 22. Many earthquakes occurred closely in space and time (a seismic swarm) under the Nāmakanipaio Campground, west of Kīlauea's summit.
    The Nāmakanipaio swarm lasted about 48 hours and produced nearly 300 earthquakes, the largest being a magnitude-3.5. This swarm caused noticeable shaking and caught the attention of residents and scientists alike. However, swarms around the Nāmakanipaio Campground are not uncommon. The most recent swarm, prior to October 2020, happened in March 2019.
Seismicity around Kīlauea summit and the upper East Rift Zone was mostly quiet during the following month with a few minor swarms. The two most active days had about 100 detected events. Another large swarm occurred under the summit and upper East Rift Zone on Dec. 2, producing over 200 detected earthquakes and punctuated by a magnitude-3.1 event. The December 17, 2020 Volcano Watch https://www.usgs.gov/center-news/volcano-watch-a-small-notable-magma-intrusion-k-lauea-s-summit

 describes this swarm in detail and its relation ship with accelerated ground deformation.
    This swarm was the first instance of the sequence where restlessness was evident in more than just seismic data, with the latter part of the swarm being accompanied by a rapid increase in ground tilt trends. The excursion in the tilt, along with the migrating seismic activity, indicated a shallow magmatic 
intrusion.
    Seismologists also noticed increased occurrences of long-period seismic signals after this event, suggesting magma was moving beneath the surface. Long-period seismic signals occur less often than seismic swarms, but are not uncommon to observe on an active volcano. In this case, the rate of occurrence increased to the point that the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) began drafting documents to raise Kīlauea's Volcano Alert Level.
    Before Kīlauea's Volcano Alert Level could be raised, Pele decided it was time to return to the summit, and on December 20, 2020, she did. Seismologists observed a small earthquake swarm in the upper East Rift Zone around 7:30 p.m. HST that night, which, at the time, seemed no different than recent swarms in that area. The seismic activity in the upper East Rift Zone ceased after about an hour, but then began to increase around the summit of Kīlauea.
This summit activity began with earthquakes occurring every few minutes starting at depths of about 2 km (about a mile) below the surface. In this case, magma induced these quakes as it made its way to the surface.

    The rate of activity continued to rapidly increase. At 9:20 p.m. HST, about ten minutes before lava appeared at the summit, the earthquakes began occurring so rapidly that we could not tell when one event was ending and another started. The summit was going 'bonkers' as one seismologist described it.
    Lava broke the surface at about 9:30 p.m. HST, but the rapidly-repeating earthquakes continued over the next forty minutes as new summit vents opened and the pathway of magma became fully established.
   At about 10:10 p.m. HST, stations around Kīlauea summit no longer showed any earthquake activity. Seismometers showed only a continuous, low frequency tremor signal caused by magma flowing through an open conduit.
    The seismic quiet was interrupted briefly by a magnitude-4.4 earthquake on the south flank of Kīlauea. The south flank commonly produces large events in response to magmatic pressure changes at Kīlauea Volcano, as mentioned in the Feb. 4, 2021 Volcano Watch (https://www.usgs.gov/center-news/volcano-watch-k-lauea-s-south-flank-what-s-shaking).
    The eruption within Halema'uma'u crater at the summit of Kīlauea continues, along with the associated tremor signal.
    Most of the Island of Hawai'i's seismicity has remained at background levels throughout the eruption. However, earthquake rates at Kīlauea's summit and East Rift Zone have significantly decreased following the eruption onset, with average weekly counts falling from about 150 to less than 15.
    HVO scientists continue to keep a close eye on Kīlauea and the other volcanoes around the island, always analyzing and interpreting data for any hint of activity that may precede the next eruption, wherever it may be.

 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.

Read the March edition of The Ka`u Calendar at www.kaucalendar.com

The Kahuku Coastal county lands, bought with the Two Percent Fund from property
taxes, is the subject of a public survey online and a meeting March 20. Photo from PONC



HIKE ONE OF THE MANY open trails, drive to the overlooks in Hawai`i 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. 

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY IS OPEN TO IN-PERSON TRAFFIC in Nāʻālehu, 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

GOLF & 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 clubatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

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.

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 in Nāʻālehu.

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.

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 Kaʻū High & Pāhala 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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