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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, March 7, 2021

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Rescue America funding that passed the U.S. Senate last week, not only includes money for schools, libraries, health care,
 nutrition and housing. It also provides Hawaiʻi funding through National Endowment for the Arts to help artists hit hard
by the pandemic. This Randall Shiroma sculpture on the Pāhala school campus was created with government arts funding.
See more on the Rescue funding below. Photo by Julia Neal

"PLEASE CALL ME ABOUT ANYTHING BIG OR SMALL," said west  Kaʻū’s freshman member in the state House of Representatives, Jeanne Kapela during an informal talk-story at Ocean View Community Center last week.
    Kapela, who was voted into office in November, held a socially distanced meeting of a few masked Ocean View residents to gauge problems and issues facing the town’s residents.
Freshman member of the state House of Representatives Jeanne Kapela came to Ocean
 View Community Center last week and held a small, distanced talk story.
Photo by Annie Bosted
    One attendee mentioned that Kapela's predecessor, Dr. Richard Creagan, arranged for state funds to go to the county Department of Water to drill a second potable water well to serve Ocean View. Kapela was asked to find out what happened to the funds -  why no well has been drilled.  
      Among the issues raised was the continuing threat of installing mini solar farms on numerous lots between homes in Ranchos. 
    Opponents said the idea is an old model of encouraging alternative energy and that the project, owned by a Chinese company, would raise the price of electricity island-wide. Kapela agreed to write a letter to the PUC in support of ending the project.
    Attendees generally agreed that the number of abandoned cars in Ocean View is a huge problem. One pointed out that the State gave the county a grant to deal with cars, but the County imposed a lot of restrictions and minimized the benefits. It was suggested that the State institute a program to directly address the issue, rather than paying the county to do so.
Ocean View Community Center welcomed new state House of
Representatives member Jeanne Kapela. Photo by Annnie Bosted
    Citizens also complained about the huge number of feral dogs roaming Ocean View, and reported that many people had been attacked, while others had lost their domestic chickens to the marauders.  
    Residents also complained about not getting their unemployment benefits. Kapela urged anyone who is being left out to contact her office. Her phone number is 808-586-9605 and her email is repkapela@capitol.hawaii.gov.
    Kapela represents the district from Honuʻapo through Nāʻālehu, Waiʻohinu, Green Sands, Mark Twain Discovery Harbour, South Point and Ocean View through Capt. Cook, Kealakekua and into Kailua-Kona.

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.

KAʻŪ HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS is likely to open soon. The Athletics Department is asking interested students and their parents to fill out a survey choosing from the following sports: Boys Varsity Volleyball, Girls Varsity Softball, Boys Varsity Baseball, Boys Varsity Track and Girls Varsity Track. Parents are asked to fill out a survey form for each child enrolled at the school who is interested in one or more sports.
Find the form on Kaʻū High Athletics twitter at  https://twitter.com/KauAthletics. The school is asking for the forms by March 12.
     The state Department of Education announced new sports guidelines on Friday, allowing eligible high schools to start workouts and practices on Monday. Schools must operate in-person or blended learning, and guidelines connected to the level of COVID.
     Guidelines include: Social distancing and mask wearing guidelines at all times; pre-workout and practice screenings; abide by county and state gathering limitations and other county orders; create, implement approved and scheduled cleaning of athletic facilities to mitigate communicable disease; wipe down equipment throughly before and after use; require students to bring their own water bottles - no hydration stations.

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.

THE $2.2 BILLION FOR HAWAIʻI IN THE RESCUE AMERICA ACT, which passed the U.S. Senate Saturday and is expected to pass the House and be signed by the President early this week, provides funding for the following:
Distanced meeting in the upgraded Ocean View Community Center.
Photo by Annie Bosted
      Direct cash payments– Estimated $1.7 billion to Hawai‘i residents Households will get a one-time cash payment of $1,400 per adult and an additional $1,400 per dependent, including both children and non-child dependents An eligible family of four will receive up to $5,600 Benefits start to phase out for those with incomes exceeding $75,000 for singles, $112,500 for single parents, and $150,000 for married couples
     Electric and water utility assistance– Estimated $6 million for Hawai‘i households Additional Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, funding to help Hawaiian Electric, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, and Hawai‘i Gas customers pay their bills New funding to help low-income households pay for drinking water and wastewater utility expenses
     Unemployment assistance– At least $575 million in estimated funding unemployment assistance for Hawai‘i workers and will be available to self-employed individuals, part-time workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, including ride-sharing drivers. It will cover those who are sick, quarantined, furloughed, or whose family circumstances keep them from working or reduce their pay as a result of the coronavirus outbreak or government containment efforts. 
    Aid will cover salaries up to about $65,000 through Sept. 6 with an additional $300 per week. It makes the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits collected in 2020 tax free for those households whose income was less than $150,000. 
    Rent and mortgage relief– Estimated $226.5 million will go to Hawai‘i, with an estimated $152 million to help Hawai‘i residents who lost their job or saw a significant reduction in income due to the pandemic to make rent. 
    At least $50 million will fund a new Homeowner Assistance Program to help Hawai‘i families who are behind on their mortgages or already in foreclosure as a result of the pandemic. Access to $5 billion nationally will help Public Agencies with emergency Housing Choice Vouchers, increased rental costs, and increased administrative costs Access to $100 million nationally will go to emergency rental assistance for rural housing Access to $100 million nationally will go to states and NeighborWorks to provide housing counseling services.
    Native Hawaiian Housing Assistance of $6.5 million will include $5 million to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which is estimated to aid 800 households, including beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. The DHHL program helps renters both on and off Hawaiian Home Lands pay for rent, utilities, security deposits and other expenses related to housing incurred due to the pandemic. DHHL will receive $1.5 million to help homesteaders. Funds can be used for mortgage assistance, assistance after forbearance, principal reduction, utilities, property taxes, and other expenses to prevent foreclosure, default, or utility shut off. 
     Affordable Housing - Approximately $18 million in HOME program funding will provide resources to help communities build and maintain affordable housing. 
      Vaccine distribution and procurement funding will be $7.5 billion nationally, including at least $20 million for Hawai‘i. It will help distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
     Testing, contact tracing, and mitigation– $47.8 billion nationally This funding will expand capacity for COVID-19 testing to effectively monitor and suppress COVID–19, conduct surveillance and contact tracing activities, and support other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. In addition, the bill provides $1.75 billion nationally for genomic sequencing and surveillance efforts. 
      Health insurance - The bill includes premium assistance of 100 percent for COBRA continuation coverage for eligible individuals and families through September 31, 2021. This will allow individuals who lost their job-based health insurance to keep their insurance and receive federal funding to pay for the
Dave Carvalho, ʻohana to Raymond Fujikawa, of Kaʻū, shows 
his support for veterans at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, 
which will receive $428,000 in funding from Rescue
America Act. Photo from Tim Wright
full COBRA premium. The bill also significantly reduces premiums for the Affordable Care Act marketplace plans for 2021 and 2022, including by increasing premium tax credits and ensuring that no marketplace enrollee, regardless of income, spends more than 8.5 percent of their income on premiums In Hawai‘i, a family of four with an income of $120,000 is projected to save $551 per month on their premium payments.       
    Kupuna Health & Nutrition - Estimated $9.2 million for Hawai‘i Funding supports several health care, nutrition, and supportive services for older Americans and people with disabilities and their caregivers. 
     Native Hawaiian Health care– Estimated $150 million for Hawai‘i $20 million to the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems, which provide critical access to health education, promotion, disease prevention, and primary care services for thousands of Native Hawaiians. This funding will support five health centers on Hawai‘i Island, Kauai, Molokai, Maui, and Oahu An estimated $50 million to Hawai‘i’s community health centers to help address the health care needs of local communities across the state.
     Rural Health Care - An estimated $40 million for rural health care providers. 
     Mental Health - An estimated $15 million to support several mental health programs, including the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant and the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant. The bill also includes funding to support mental health training for health care professionals and public safety officers and to promote mental and behavioral health among the health care workforce.   
    Health Care Training - At least $25 million in estimated funding for a new program that will recruit, hire, and train new public health workers in Hawai‘i.
    Nursing homes– Estimated $1.4 million for Hawai‘i, with least $428,000 in estimated funding to the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo to upgrade facilities and support its continued operations An estimated $1 million to deploy strike teams to long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. 
    Child care – Estimated $138 million for Hawai‘i , with an estimated $136.5 million for child care programs including the Child Care and Development Block Grant and child care stabilization grants An estimated $1.4 million in child abuse and neglect prevention programs.
     SNAP & WIC benefits - An extension of 15 percent in monthly SNAP benefits to ensure that all Americans receive the food they need The bill also boosts WIC benefits and also supports other nutrition programs.
     Early childhood education – Estimated $3.5 million for Hawai‘i Funding will support Head Start programs in Hawai‘i, which provides comprehensive early childhood education and development services to low-income children.
     Children Tax Credits -   Expansion of the Child Tax Credit For 2021, the bill increases the maximum Child Tax Credit (CTC) from $2,000 to $3,000, with an additional $600 for each child under the age of six, and extends the full credit to 17 year old children The increased amount phases out at $150,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, $112,500 for heads of households, and $75,000 for individual filers Makes the CTC fully refundable for 2021 so that the lowest income families receive the full credit These changes are estimated to help over 300,000 children in Hawai‘i who currently don’t qualify for the full tax credit.    
     Transportation– At least $380 million in estimated funding for Hawai‘i $165 million to ensure that transit services in Hawai‘i continue operating with enhanced safety procedures for passengers and staff.
See the schedule at heleonbus.org

About $70 million in Capital Improvement Grants goest to Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) to help the city pay for part of its share by covering the loss in local tax revenue caused by the pandemic.
       Hawai‘i airports funding of $144 million will be for operations and expenses related to coronavirus. safety procedures as well as a set-aside for aide to in-terminal airport concessions and other service providers Access to $15 billion in national funding to airlines and contractors for workforce salaries and benefits to prevent layoffs.  
     Arts & Humanities– At least $2.37 million in estimated funding for Hawai‘i, including $770,400 for through the National Endowment for the Arts An estimated $842,400 through the National Endowment for the Humanities
    Public Libraries -  An estimated $759,086 for the Hawai‘i State Public Library System through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
     Emergency federal employee paid leave– $570 million nationally Funding supports paid leave for federal employees who cannot work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as if they are sick, are caring for a family member who is sick, or are caring for a child whose school or childcare facility is closed Food and nutrition programs.

 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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