Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, July 15, 2016

Fishers of bigeye tuna in the Central and Western Pacific are close to their quota, and the fisheries
will close a week from today. Photo from NOAA
EXPANDING ACCESS TO RURAL telehealth services is the subject of legislation co-introduced by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. The bipartisan measure would allow non-rural hospitals and health care providers that service rural areas to make better use of the Federal Communications Commission’s Healthcare Connect Fund.
Expanding access to rural telehealth services such as planned
for Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. is
the topic of Sen. Brian Schatz's legislation.
Photo from KRHCAI
      The Reaching Underserved Rural Areas to Lead on Telehealth Act would allow these non-rural providers to qualify for the 65 percent health care provider discount under the HCF as long as the majority of the locations serving patients are in rural areas.
      “Telehealth is expanding access to health care in Hawai`i and across the country, and we should be doing everything we can to support it,” Schatz said. “Our bill updates current laws to expand access to federal telehealth funding and help more people get the health care they need.”
      Large organizations designated as non-rural are often the lead center for telehealth, providing services to rural health care providers throughout a given state. Because the administrative responsibility and expertise required for these efforts is often challenging, larger organizations typically serve as the consortium lead.
      In 1996, Congress mandated that the FCC use the Universal Service Fund to provide support for telecommunications, advanced telecommunications and information services for eligible health care providers. Providers use these services to deliver telemedicine, transmit health records and conduct other telehealth activities for improving patient care and reducing health-care costs.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Celia's northwest movement is expected to continue.
Map from NOAA
CELIA IS IN THE CENTRAL PACIFIC and headed west. At 5 a.m., the tropical storm had crossed longitude 140 west and was 950 miles east-northeast of South Point. The forecast shows it tracking north of the state Monday, after weakening to depression status today and to a remnant low in 24 hours.
      Following Celia is Hurricane Darby, which is forecast to maintain its intensity or only gradually weaken during the next day or two. After 48 hours, more marked weakening should occur. It is expected to cross into the Central Pacific on Wednesday morning.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT A DOZEN SUPPORTERS of Raina Whiting, a Na`alehu teacher and President of the Democratic party in Ocean View, gathered in Na`alehu yesterday to wave signs and promote their candidate for the County Council primary election on Aug. 13. 
      Whiting is running against incumbent Maile David. They hold a forum today at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.
County Council candidate Raina Whiting and supporters waved signs
in Na`alehu yesterday. Photo from Friends of Raina Whiting
      Whiting has stated that she considers herself to be a grassroots organizer with support from individuals and families who support a progressive platform. She said she eschews endorsements from organizations whose interests are not aligned with hers, because, if elected, she would then be beholden to them. 
      “I am priding myself in having this election remain at the grassroots level,” Whiting said. “This campaign is not about me. It is about individuals and families, the community and its interests. This campaign is for the people who want an elected official who will listen to their concerns and advocate for them.”
      According to Whiting’s campaign manager Bob Martin, who has been studying results of the 2014 primary election, there were 10,818 registered voters in the eight precincts in County Council District Six. South Kona had the largest number of registered voters (2,900), followed by Ocean View (1,888) and Volcano (1,815).
      “When it came to voting, 44 percent of Volcano voters cast their ballot, while only 29 percent of Ocean View voters actually voted,” Martin said. “This was the lowest percentage turnout of any precinct. I sincerely hope that Raina will change that by offering Ocean View a candidate that lives in the town and cares deeply about the community and the issues it faces. I hope that all District Six voters will relate to her and come to the polls and vote.
      “Ocean View has been sadly neglected by the county and state. The number and quality of services provided to District Six, the largest precinct geographically, is abysmal. If Ocean View voters can reverse their poor turnout, politicians on all levels will pay more attention to the town and the district. It’s not enough to simply have lots of land or residents. Active voters are the currency that elected officials deal in.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

BIGEYE TUNA FISHERIES in the Western and Central Pacific will close a week from today, on July 22, according to National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association Fisheries’ July 12 update of fish catches in the Pacific Islands region. As of that date, the fleet had caught at least 3,473 metric tons of bigeye in the Western and Central Pacific. Which is 98 percent of its quota of 3,554 metric tons set by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
      In April, NOAA reported that fishing industry experts speculated the Hawai`i longline fleet might reach its annual catch quota for bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific as early as June. Then, as reported in July, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, which continually revises its forecasts, estimated that the quota would probably not be hit until August but could be reached as early as July 22 in a “worst-case scenario.”
      Once the quota is reached, vessels shorter than 24 meters – which make up the majority of the Hawai`i longline fleet – may continue fishing in the Eastern Pacific. “Whether they feel comfortable fishing there is another question,” said Chris Boggs, director of the science center’s Fisheries Research and Monitoring Division.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Beginning next month, Ka`u women can receive free prenatal
wellness services. Image from U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
FREE PRENATAL WELLNESS SERVICES are coming to Ka`u. Pregnant women can receive hands-on support and learn basic prenatal self-care on Wednesdays in Pahala.
      The Office on Women’s Health emphasizes the benefit of prenatal care as well as education and counseling. This is pregnancy support that the women of Ka`u otherwise would not get. Mothers have to travel an hour and a half to either Hilo or Kona in order to get their prenatal check-ups. Due to the distances involved and transportation difficulties, many women are not able to access care. Statistically, this is especially true for Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders.
      “Women are intelligent, and we want what’s best for our babies. Given the tools and the opportunity, we will always prioritize our children’s health,” said Tara Compehos, who is offering these services in partnership with Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i, Inc. Compehos served childbearing families on O`ahu for 10 years before moving to Ka`u in 2015. She apprenticed under master midwife Medrakanoeonapua and holds a Full Midwifery Arts degree from the Matrona school of midwifery. She was educated in Lomilomi by Auntie Margaret and is a DONA-educated doula. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University.
      Pregnancy wellness and self-care open houses will be held at Ohi`a Hale, 96-1186 Ohi`a Street every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Aug. 3. 
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Kumu Hula Kaho`okele Crabbe Photo from Volcano Art Center
KUMU HULA KAHO`OKELE CRABBE and Halau Ola o Ka Lani present hula kahiko tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      After graduating in 1995 at Pu`upueokapu, Waikane, O`ahu with traditional `uniki ceremonies under his teacher kumu hula Robert Uluwehiokalanionapuaikawekiu Cazimero, Crabbe founded Halauolaokalani in 1999. He is an educator and advocate for keiki. His motto is, “Aloha trumps everything in man’s world because God is love.”
      Loke Kamanu and `ohana present Na Mea Hula from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
      See volcanoartcenter.org.


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See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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