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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Family and community events, including much hula and lei making, continue in Kaʻū with no cases of the
novel coronavirus reported. A group recently left lei at Punaluʻu. Photo by Carrie Berry
NUMEROUS GATHERINGS IN KAʻŪ ARE IN FULL PLANNING with the hope and expectation that the novel coronavirus will not reach here. Punaluʻu Beach is full of family engagements, with some folks leaving lei on the shoreline.
     A meeting of the Kaʻū Coffee Festival this evening showed little sign of any consideration for canceling the annual event, which takes place over ten days this year from May 8 -17, with music, hula, hikes, stargazing, ranch and farm visits, dinners, barbecues, and coffee tasting. The Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolaulea, on Saturday, March 28, is set for music, food, education and cultural displays, and activities in Nāʻālehu. Pāhala Plantation Cottages reported that some local people have canceled cruises and other trips outside of Hawaiʻi, and have chosen instead to plan a local vacation, to see this island.
     The Kaʻū Coffee court is planning to join the Merrie Monarch Parade in Hilo and hālau from here will take their hula to Merrie Monarch week, April 12 through 18. When questioned by the Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald about the virus threat, Merrie Monarch President Luana Kawelu told the reporter she has received no requests to refund tickets, and no cancellations from performers. "I'm waiting for word from the state Department of Heath if we cannot proceed. I haven't heard anything. We are going forward with it. The stage goes up next Monday," said Kawelu in a story published today.
     Merrie Monarch week starts Easter Sunday, April 12, at many venues in Hilo. The main events will be held at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium. The free hō‘ike (show) will be held Wednesday, April 15, showing off hula and international folk dances. Miss Aloha Hula, the solo wahine competition, will be held Thursday, April 16. Group hula kahiko (ancient hula) competition will be held Friday, April 17. Group hula ‘auana (modern hula) will be held Saturday, April 18, with the awards ceremony held afterwards.
Local hālau are planing for flowers for Merrie Monarch and
other upcoming events, including the Prince Kuhio Day
Hoʻolaulea and Kaʻū Coffee Festival. Photo by Carrie Berry
     In order to protect participants and the public, Kawelu told the Tribune, "We can put sanitation stations with antibacterial (supplies) around the stadium, make sure that everything is clean, our counters wiped down with Clorox every so often – you know, those wipes and stuff. The kumu hula have worked hard. They've had all their fundraisers; they've paid for their trip here. They paid for their hotel. Everything is done, and we're just going to carry on unless we get word from the state Department of Health that we cannot do it."
     In face of the disease spreading worldwide, three Oʻahu events were recently cancelled: 24th annual Honolulu Festival, March 6-8; 13th annual Festival of the Pacific Arts & Culture, in June; and a concert by Mariah Carey on March 10.

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A QUARANTINED PERSON ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND tested negative for COVID-19, reported Civil Defense today. The person had been in isolation at Hilo Medical Center.
     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are 33 confirmed and 27 presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. – none confirmed in Hawaiʻi. Washington state, the only state with deaths from the virus, reported nine people died. Globally, there are 90,870 confirmed cases, with 3,112 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
Flowers at Punaluʻu, where many family gatherings are held.
Photo by Carrie Berry
     See Hawaiʻi State Department of Health's website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for updates.

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TESTING FOR COVID-19 IN HAWAIʻI is moving forward. State Health Director Bruce Anderson said, now that the state is able to test for the newly identified form of coronavirus, results should be back within a few hours. He said results from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention usually "take about a week."
     The state of Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center reported, as of Monday, five Hawaiʻi Island residents were among 91 people in the state self-monitoring with public health supervision for COVID-19. Oʻahu had 83, two were on Kauaʻi, and one was on Maui. They were identified as potential cases through screening by federal officials at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

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A MEASURE TO ADDRESS ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL EFFECTS ON HAWAIʻI from the novel coronavirus was passed by the state House of Representatives today. House Resolution 54 will create a Select House Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. House Speaker Scott Saiki introduced the measure. It will bring together "representatives from local and state government, private industry, and nonprofit agencies and organizations to report back to the House on steps needed to be prepared for the financial effects of an outbreak."
     According to the resolution, COVID-19 may deeply impact Hawaiʻi's economy "due to the state's proximity to Asia and reliance on the tourism industry and imported goods."
     Both the Honolulu Festival and the Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture, which bring thousands of participants to the state, have been cancelled or postponed due to novel coronavirus concerns – see article on cancellations, above.
     The State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism has reported a 7.3 percent drop in international passengers in February and has estimated a loss of more than $23 million in visitor expenditures.
     During the recession of 2008, the state government was forced to reduce the school week to four days, cut millions of dollars from social programs, and reduce public employee salaries by five percent.
     The committee will identify potential economic and financial impacts to the state and develop short-term and long-term mitigation plans so that these types of cuts can be avoided.
     Saiki will appoint the committee's chair and its members.

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EVEN WITHOUT CONFIRMED CASES OF THE NEW CORONAVIRUS IN HAWAIʻI, effects from the disease are "ineveitable," said state Sen. Kai Kahele. He noted last week in a Big Island Video News interview that many flights are cancelled, hurting Hawaiʻi's biggest economic driver, tourism.
     On Saturday, Hawaiian Airlines announced its five flights a week to South Korea are out of service, as of MOnday. Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines, said, "We believe a temporary service suspension is prudent given the escalation of COVID-19 in South Korea."
     Rep. Tulsi Gabbard suggested over the weekend that all flights between Japan and Hawaiʻi also be cancelled. "The first responsibility of our leaders should be to protect the health, safety, and security of the American people. This is why we've temporarily suspended flights from China, and must now do the same for Japan and S. Korea to prevent the spread of coronavirus."
     Gabbard said the U.S. would be better prepared to tackle the disease if Trump Administration's former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton had refrained from shutting down the National Security Council's Global Health Security arm. Bolton "forced out Rear Adm. Ziemer, leaving the White House without a pandemic response team to act in a timely manner to protect our people," Gabbard tweeted. 
     She urged Pres. Donald Trump to cut through red tape, "so anyone with symptoms can get tested for Coronavirus. These tests must immediately be made available at Dr.'s offices, hospitals, airports, schools." She tweeted to Trump, "Instead of going to war with Russia and Syria in order to protect the al-Qaeda-Turkish alliance, you should focus on the war against the Coronavirus."
     Sen. Brian Schatz said, "Disasters require fast, blunt communication," and urged taking "unhappy news from people on the ground" seriously. He contended that "A lack of test kits, masks, beds, transport, training, and bad comms, were mentioned early by states, but treated like political attacks rather than problems to fix," by the Trump Administration.
     Schatz took issue with Trump's choice of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the fight against Coronavirus: "The Vice President is starting off by not allowing the head of the National Institute of Health to speak freely. I will try to be as precise and non shrill as possible with my language here: It is essential in times like these that experts are allowed to tell us what's really going on in their own words. We need to hear from the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention and NIH in a live news conference, with no elected officials within 500 hundred yards, and public health and science journalists in the room rather than those who cover politics. And the stations should cover it live because the airwaves are public," said Schatz.
     Sen. Mazie Hirono charged that "Donald Trump is engaging in wishful thinking if he thinks the Coronavirus has been contained. The President should care about the health of his own citizens, but instead he's more concerned about the stock market and any negative effect this will have on his re-election."
Electron microscope image of COVID-19. Image from NPR
     Rep. Ed Case issued a statement upon the first death in the U.S. from COVID-19. He said the death "tragically underscores how seriously we must all take this public health threat... From all appearances this virus is new to humans, meaning two things. First, there is much that is not known about it at present, such as how it will respond to seasonal changes. Second, we do not have any immunities either natural or by prior contact or vaccination.
     "At this time, most people in the United States are at little risk of exposure to COVID-19. However, those that do become exposed to COVID-19, besides being able to pass it on to others, can get very sick and there is more risk than more common viruses especially to those who are less immune to disease, or (are) elderly." He said prevention is "still the best method to address this threat," but that containment once it is in a community "must also be planned and pursued." Case said to not panic, but to not "take this threat for granted," and to not "politicize any of this as coronavirus doesn't care much about all that and we have to focus on this together."

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.

A HIGH SURF AND SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY is in effect for Kaʻū shores through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Large breaking waves, strong shore break, and powerful currents are expected to make swimming dangerous.

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.

Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule
Girls Softball
Saturday, March 7, 11 a.m., @Waiakea
Wednesday, March 11, 3 p.m., @Konawaena
Saturday, March 14, 11 a.m., host Kealakehe
Tuesday, March 17, 3 p.m., host Pāhoa
Saturday, March 21, 11 a.m., @Keaʻau
Boys Baseball
Wednesday, March 4, 3 p.m., host HPA
Saturday, March 7, 1 p.m.. @Waiakea
Tuesday, March 10, 1 p.m., @Konawaena
Saturday, March 14, 1 p.m., host Kealakehe
Wednesday, March 18, 3 p.m., @Pāhoa
Saturday, March 21, 1 p.m., @Keaʻau
Boys Volleyball
Wednesday, March, 6 p.m., @Hilo
Tuesday, March 10, 6 p.m., host Makualani
Friday, March 13, 6 p.m., host Konawaena
Judo
Saturday, March 7, 10:30 a.m.. @Kealakehe
Saturday, March 14, 10:30 a.m., @Hilo
Saturday, March 21, 10:30 a.m., @Konawaena
Track
Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m., @Waiakea
Saturday, March 21, 2 p.m., @Konawaena

UPCOMING
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4
Registration for Fundamental Baseball, through March 4 at Nāʻālehu Community Center, 95-5635 Mamālahoa Hwy. Ages 5 to 8. Program runs Thursday, March 5, 12, and 19, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Shoes, gloves, and protective cups required. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 939-2510

OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

Wonders of Watercolor Workshop Series with Nancy DeLucrezia, Wednesdays, March 4 through April 22, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eight-week course designed for artists already working in watercolor who want to benefit from constructive feedback, and sharing of ideas and information, provided by group classes, to take work to a new level. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

THURSDAY, MARCH 5
Register for Free PETFIX Spay and Neuter Clinic for Cats and Dogs, Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6, Ocean View Ranchos. Registration: contact Bridget at (808)990-3548 or petfixbigisland@gmail.com.

Hula Voices, Thursday, March 5, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., VAC Gallery. Presents engaging, intimate "talk story" session with Hawai‘i Island kumu hula. Features Noe Noe Kekaualua. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

FRIDAY, MARCH 6
Eco-Tour at Shaka Forest Farms with Zach Mermel, Friday, March 6, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

SATURDAY, MARCH 7
Stewardship at the Summit, March 7 and 14, Saturday, and Friday, March 20 and 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

Mokuhanga: Japanese Woodblock Printing series with Glenn Yamanoha, four weeks starting Saturday, March 7 through 28, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Mixed Flock Glazing Techniques Demo by Artist Emily Herb, Saturday, March 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Recognition Gala, Saturday, March 7, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hilo Hawaiian, Moku Ola Ballroom. The late Barry Taniguchi, whose KTA stores sponsor much outreach into the Kaʻū community, and Gerald De Mello, will be recognized for community involvement, leadership, and significant contributions made towards the strengthening of Hawaiʻi Island communities. The evening will include dinner and drinks, entertainment, and light humor, along with recognition of outstanding youth, including the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year. Sponsorships, including the purchasing of sponsorship tables, donating silent and live Auction items, and individual ticket sales are available. To donate and buy tickets, call Kaʻū board member Julia Neal at 808-928-9811 or email mahalo@aloha.net. See more about the Boys & Girls Club at bgcbi.com.

SUNDAY, MARCH 8
Hawaiʻi International Music Festival, Sunday, March 8, 6:30 p.m., Pāhala Plantation House. The concert will feature music that will celebrate native plants of the Kaʻū Dryland Forest and will raise funds for Hoʻomalu Kaʻū. Tickets are $30, available at kauconcert.bpt.mehimusicfestival.com

Toby Walker Concert, Sunday, March 8, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's ʻŌhiʻa Room, located in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Walker blends blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, old-time jazz, and rock. Tickets $25 by calling (808) 896-4845 or online bluesbearhawaii.com. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

MONDAY, MARCH 9
OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Mondays, March 9, 16, and 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

TUESDAY, MARCH 10
Paper Plate Rainbow Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 10. Program Wednesday, March 11, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

Legacy of Magic in Hawai‘i, Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Some of the world's most famous touring magicians traveled the world by steamship and performed in Hawai‘i. Some made Hawai‘i their home, and their legacy lives on today in local talented magicians, slight-of-hand artist,s and other performers. Join local award-winning magicians Bruce and Jennifer Meyers for an evening of history, mystery, and magic. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

ONGOING
Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840.

Mixed Flock Volcano Art Center Exhibit, daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday, March 29. Features prints by Margaret Barnaby and pottery by Emily Herb. Glazing techniques demo Saturday, March 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Sign Up to Be a Vendor at the Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar by Wednesday, March 18. The annual event will be held Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The church is located on the corner of Mamalahoa HwyKamaoa Road, and Pinao Street, just above the Wong Yuen Store in Waiʻōhinu.
     Individuals, schools, clubs, and sports/athletic groups are invited to be vendors at the "flea market" that will be located on the church lawn. The charge for a 10' X 10' space is $10. Vendors are responsible for bringing their own tent, table and chairs, and if power is needed, generator. Vendors can sell anything except hot foods or plate lunches.  
     Vendors must fill out and submit a Vendor Application with the $10 fee by Wednesday, March 18. Call Debbie Wong Yuen at 928-8039 for the application.
     The Church members will sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and smoked meat bowls, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts.
     For more information, call 928-8039.

Sign Up Keiki for the Second Annual Kaʻū Children's Business Fair, to be held Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to noon at Pāhala Community Center. Open to young entrepreneurs ages seven and 18 to share their talents by selling handmade items and services. One application may be submitted for each business. Children can sign up for booth space at no charge. Children working as a group submit one application that includes each child's information; no more than three children per business.
     Kaʻū Children's Business Fair guidelines are designed to give children the experience of selling a product or service. Parents of younger children (under eight years old) may sit in the booth, but the children should be responsible for set up, customer interaction, and sales. Parents may aid a child, but the child runs the business.
    Learn more about participating at childrensbusinessfair.org/pahala. Visit Kaʻū Children's Business Fair's Facebook event page facebook.com/KAUCBF/. RSVP to the event at facebook.com/events/925342784527676/. Text KAUKIDSFAIR to 31996 for updates and information (message and data fees may apply).

Register for Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited.
     This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

Sign Up to Vend at the New ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Nāʻālehu Farmers Market, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the site of the old Fruit Stand, mauka of Hwy 11 in Nāʻālehu. Vending focuses on Kaʻū products, including mushrooms from the new farm in Nāʻālehu, fresh breads, vegetables, fruits, and other products. The market may offer music in the future, and there are plans to acquire picnic tables for market goers. Call Manager Sue Barnett at 345-9374 to sign up.

Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.
     Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
     Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.
     Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27, 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. at the race start.
     Half Marathon will start at 7 a.m. Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at 10 a.m. on VSAS grounds. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.

Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment, features classes on block printing, lauhala weaving, ti leaf lei making, and more. A free guided Cultural Forest Tour, and a Mele and Hula ‘Auana performance are also slated. Visit the website events calendar for the full lineup. volcanoartcenter.org

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.




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