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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday June 10, 2021

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Firefighers fought a fire on 1400 acres last week as a concerning fire season begins.
Photo from DLNR
A 1,400-ACRE WILDFIRE THAT RAGED THROUGH EUCALYPTUS TREES and guinea grass on former sugar plantation land is a warning for an active fire season, according to the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. The 1,400-acre brush fire last Friday ran through property in Hilo Pa’auilo, north of Hilo. DLNR released a statement to kick off its annual Wildlife & Drought LOOKOUT! awareness campaign, saying last weekend’s fire highlights the importance for communities and individuals to be prepared for what is expected to be an especially active summer and fall fire season.
    “We have a lot of brush that’s built up over the last four years, so that’s going to be a prime issue in the coming months. Based on forecasts, we are in for a particularly dry year, which is an issue for us on the Big Island, and the rest of the state as well,” said Hawai‘i County Fire Chief Kazuo Todd.
    Dozens of firefighters from his department, from the DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife , and local volunteer departments "kept the fire, sweeping with incredible speed through guinea grass, from torching any homes in the rural community. It could have been a close call,” said the DNLR statement.
    Nani Barretto, of Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization, commented, “Wherever the wind can blow a leaf, it can blow an ember and start a fire. Embers can fly up to a mile, so keep your yards clean, lean, and green right now. The one thing we want people to know is, fires are different than other natural hazard events in that they can be prevented, and their impacts reduced, if we’re proactive.”
    The prevalence of wildfires is intrinsically linked to current weather conditions. As of June 3, each of the Main Hawaiian Islands had vast acreages of land rated as abnormally dry by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
    Statewide, 68.52 percent of the land is considered abnormally dry, with 4 percent experiencing moderate drought, and a small fraction of land (.3 percent) on the west side of Hawai‘i Island already in severe drought conditions.
Fire burns through guinea grass and a eucalyptus farm, held back from homes and other plantings. 
Photo from DLNR
     Todd observed, “I think the residents of Paʻauilo were a little surprised. It is on the wetter side of the island, which means a lot of brush has built up over the past four years of relative wet weather. With strong winds, and if a fire does start, it can quickly transition into a large fire that moves rapidly through the underbrush.”    
    The fire chief says that should be of concern to communities everywhere. “Without the efforts of all the firefighters on the line, the helicopters, and the heavy equipment this 1,400-acre fire could have grown into a five-to-six-thousand-acre fire rapidly,” Todd added.
   The fire mostly burned guinea grass but also scorched the trunks of Eucalyptus trees several feet up. During a reconnaissance of the fire perimeter, the Hawai‘i Island DOFAW forestry management supervisor Jay Hatayama, thought about what climate change experts are saying.
    “We’re already experiencing the larger rain events with higher-than-average rainfall, followed by longer periods of drought. That means bigger fuel buildup, more frequent, and larger wildfires. With each fire, the native vegetation is taken over by fire-adapted alien species, and that makes things worse,” Hatayama explained.
    Like in all western states, Hawai‘i no longer has a set fire season. It’s now year around, but predominate from early summer to late fall, when rainfall is historically lower. According to DLNR, "This phenomenon is one reason the Hawai‘i State Legislature has pumped millions of dollars into the State’s firefighting arsenal over the past few years."
    Hatayama pointed to three sparkling red brush trucks, each capable of carrying 400-gallons of water to fire lines, and a 2,000-gallon pumper truck to replenish water supplies in the field. The trucks are among the big investments made recently to replace equipment that Hatayama said, “were older than me.” Often, the former repurposed military vehicles, some nearly 50-years-old, had to be towed out to a fire scene.
Berta Miranda waits anxiously to find out if her prize winning Ka‘ū Coffee farm was destroyed, during the 2012
wildfires that burned around Pāhala, threatening the entire village and damaging macadamia orchards, eucalyptus
farms, and coffee trees. Miranda's farm was spared.  Photo by William Neal

    Firefighting is the last line of defense. “The more proactive we are as individuals, as home and property owners, the better,” Barretto of HWMO said. Chief Todd added, “Our messages about fire safety are more necessary now than ever. It’s important to look at what’s going on within your own neighborhood, your own community, your own property and making sure you’re not doing anything to contribute to the spread of wildfires.”
    "Just ask the folks in Pa‘auilo what it’s like when a wildfire rips through your area," said the DLNR statement.

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HAWAI`I WILDFIRE Management Organization and 35 agencies and diverse entities launched their Wildfire & Drought Lookout this week. They noted that wildfires are expected to increase in frequency, size, and impacts. "We have already seen fires begin to occur across the state and anticipate fire danger to worsen in the coming months. We are writing now to invite you to help get critical wildfire preparedness information to your colleagues, stakeholders, friends, neighbors, and constituents. We are aiming for a wildfire-aware and wildfire-ready Hawai’i." See #wildfirereadyHI. 
    Here are some of the tools: 
Wildfire & Drought LOOKOUT! factsheetis HWMO's key resource to be shared, and includes wildfire prevention and safety information. In addition to English, this factsheet is also available in Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Tagalog.
Wildfire Safety Tips are for sharing within emails, newsletters, social media. These are agency-endorsed 18 actionable single-message tips based on the Wildfire LOOKOUT! factsheet See the Tip Sheet in the main google folder. Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization will postd them across social media platforms for the next several months.
Wildfire and Drought LOOKOUT! webpage. Campaign materials and links to related drought and wildfire information can be found at www.hawaiiwildfire.org/lookout. Additional information about wildfire awareness, preparedness, and more can be found throughout the HWMO website (www.hawaiiwildfire.org.
    To become part of the Wildfire Communications listserv, sign up here to stay connected:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc0_755Huov8nPiR2YX8qBtd_NJ7QcxikbbgWz098vm8rG4jQ/viewform

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Tasty Kona opened and features Miranda's Farms Kaʻū Coffee, with Berta and Maria Miranda and
shop owner Ewa Koenig. Photo by Lee McIntosh
MIRANDA FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE was a big part of the recent grand opening of Tasty Kona. Stocked with Hawai'i-made treats and treasures—plus fun and handy gifts geared for the traveler—Tasty Kona officially opened its doors June 6. Festivities included a ribbon cutting, coffee tasting, entertainment, giveaways and pet adoptions with Kohala Animal Relocation and Education Services. A percentage of sales also benefited KARES.
    Located in Kona Marketplace at 75-5725 Ali'i Drive below Pancho and Lefty's Restaurante, Tasty Kona is the brainchild of owner Eva Koenig. She has stocked the new 1400-square-foot boutique with the kind of merchandise she likes to find when traveling to different destinations—including choices for vegans and socially conscious shoppers.    
    "My husband and I like coming across fun and unique things when traveling," says Koenig, a speech language pathologist. "We shop for spices, regional foods we can bring back as gifts or enjoy back home, and we're interested in anything handmade."
    Always the intrepid shopper, Koenig has hand-picked every item in the store. She describes the merchandise as mainly made-in-Hawai'i or by small companies from around the globe. Items she has sourced from afar are "exciting and unique for the people who live here." 
    Koenig, who has lived on the Big Island since 2012, says she got inspiration to create Tasty Kona while on a trip to South Point. She stopped at Miranda's Farms Coffee Shop on Hwy 11 near South Point Road and was not only impressed with the barista coffee beverages, but also the abundance of local products and the friendly vibe.
Maria Miranda of Miranda's Farms pours coffee samples during the June 6 grand
opening of Tasty Kona, under Panco and Lefty's in Kona Marketplace. 
Photo by Fern Gavelek
    "The welcome feeling and positive energy you get walking through the door at Miranda's Coffee Shop stood out to us," details Koenig. "And then there's the wow factor of their coffee. We left thinking, 'This is the experience we want our customers to feel.'"
    With that in mind, Tasty Kona is featuring select products from over 40 Hawai'i businesses across five islands and looking for more. Find Ocean Raku pottery and earrings from Hawi, greeting cards by Ellamoon Art from Kapa'au and non-toxic Kapa Nui Nail products from Waimea. Hailing from Kaua'i is The Craft of Wandering selection of perfumed oils, candles and soaps and Tiny Isle's line of mac nut butters. From O'ahu are Hawai'i-grown tea blends by Kye Teahouse and Hale Plume hand-poured soy candles.
    Tasty Kona is the only Kona retailer selling Maui-based Hawai’i Fudge Company's toffees and fudge. The store is stocked with numerous value-added food products; all are pre-packaged and shelf-stable. Miranda's Farms Coffee, which is among a handful of Hawai'i coffee and tea companies displayed, including Kaʻū Coffee from Aikane Plantation, collaborated with Tasty Kona on the grand opening. The Miranda team served coffee samples and demonstrated how coffee is critiqued during cupping competitions.
    Established in 2006, family-run Miranda's Farms has received multiple awards in the annual statewide Hawai'i Coffee Association Cupping Competition, most recently taking first place for coffees grown in the district of Kaʻū and fifth place statewide for its yellow caturra coffee.
    "Yellow caturra is a coffee variety with a fruity, brown sugar profile that has a hint of chocolate and a citrusy acidity," says Maria Miranda, co-owner of Miranda's Farms. "Our newest variety is red catuai; it's a robust coffee heavy on chocolate, hazelnut and cane sugar flavors with notes of caramel."
Miranda's Farms offers these 100 percent Kaʻū coffee varieties at Tasty Kona, plus typica in dark and medium roasts.
Aikane Plantation is one of two Kaʻū Coffee brands carried by the new
Tasty Kona establishment in the village. Photo from Aikane
   "We are over-joyed to be selling our Kaʻū coffee in the heart of Kona as we have a lot of respect for Kona coffee and its farmers," says Miranda. "All of Hawai'i's coffee regions have their attributes and Kaʻū coffee claims its own unique weather, volcanic conditions, soil, terrain, altitude and hard-working farmers, many who were displaced by the sugar industry."
    In addition to selling Hawai'i products, Tasty Kona carries fair-trade, eco-friendly, sustainable merchandise by companies like Bali Zen, which provides home goods handmade by residents in local Indonesian villages. "I like Bali Zen's colorful toiletry bags and kitchen items because they are handmade and sustainable," notes Koenig.
Tasty Kona is the first Hawai'i retailer of Bear Paws, a fun line of craft beer dog treats using spent brewers' grain in Kansas City. Koenig says the product is a good fit because she loves animals and it has a Hawai'i connection with the company owner living in Hilo "and looking to create a line here."
The two outdoor, distanced screenings will be held in
Pahala and at the Ocean View Drive In Theater. The 
OV event is Wednesday, June 16 after sundown.
    In the works at Tasty Kona is a non-profit fundraising program, focusing on causes personally relevant to the store owner. In addition to KARES, which Koenig received support from while rescuing cats during COVID, she plans to raise funds for two groups she has worked with professionally: the ALS Association Golden West Hawai'i Chapter and Speech Therapy Cambodia. "I really want the store to be successful because I'm supporting many businesses who are important for our community," adds Koenig. "I'm hopeful for a resurgence of business post-COVID and a revival of shopping on Ali'i Drive."
    Tasty Kona is open 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and looking for employees and vendors. Visit tastykona.com or phone 808-430-9233 for details. Stay connected on Facebook and Instagram @tastykona.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

ST. JUDE'S offers free food and showers, live church services and community outreach in Ocean View.  St. Jude's Episcopal Mission is at Paradise Circle - mauka at Keaka and offers in- person worship at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. Service is available on Zoom at rb.gy/3jfbzd, Meeting ID: 684 344 9828, Password: Aloha. The service is also broadcast  on Facebook through the St. Jude's web page at http://www.stjudeshawaii.org.
    Free hot showers are open to anyone on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 pm There are two private stalls. The church provides body wash, shampoo and a clean towel. Shower participants must be signed up by 12:30 p.m.
Free showers and lunches are available for anyone at St. Judes on Saturdays.
Photo from St. Jude's
  Attendants take the temperatures of the shower users and ask that all wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. The monitors sanitize the shower stalls after each use. However, St. Jude's assumes no liability in the transmission of any illness and posts the cautionary, "Use at Your Own Risk."
    On Saturdays, free lunches (take out only) are available between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
    St. Jude's is also working with Kaʻū High & Pahala Elementary for educational outreach and better internet for the entire Ocean View Community.
ANY LOCAL CONTRACTORS LOOKING TO WORK WITH THE MILITARY'S POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA can attend a zoom meeting next Wednesday, June 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The zoom webinar will be hosted by HI-PTAC and the Pohakuloa Training Area to include a brief on the Improvement Plans happening in the PTA and the possible strategies for local contractor involvement. PTA representatives will discuss how the work is being procured through a Small Business Multiple Award Task Order Contract. A Q&A with the speakers will follow the presentation.
    Michael Donnelly, Public Affairs Officer PTA, and Lance Sewake, DPW Supervisory Engineer PTA, will be the primary speakers in this event. See www.hiptac.org. Contact through 808-784-3711 and info@hiptac.org.
     In many years past, the Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary school farm contracted with PTA to grow and provide endangered Hawaiian plants to repopulate the grounds of the military training area with native species.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.



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. Call 967-8222.

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Nāʻālehu. 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. Artists with an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.bi

GOLF & MEMBERSHIPS for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse: The 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.

FREE LIFETIME ENTRY for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks available at the entry gate.





OUTDOOR MARKETS

ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Nāʻālehu Main Street, is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., grounds of Kauahaʻao Congregational Church in Waiʻohinu. "It's a Farmer's Market, Swap Meet, Food Court, Arts & Crafts, Health Practitioners, Entertainment and more sharing our Manao and Aloha," says a statement from Nāʻālehu Main Street. "Our intention and mission is to increase economic viability in Kaʻū by providing additional opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to share their products and services with the community. We welcome you to participate and help create a vibrant community!" Email AlohaFridayMarket@gmail.com for vendor inquiries, availability and application.


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.

O 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 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, daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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. ovecchurch@gmail.com

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 808-937-6355, or call the Ministry at 808-920-8137. See Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

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.

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.

EDUCATION

Free WiFi Access for Students is available in Kaʻū, 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 & Ka'ū 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.

Public Libraries are 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. Pahala 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.

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.
   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.
    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.




 






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