|Tutu and Me is asking for community support for funding its programs in Ka`u and beyond. The funding|
is now before the Hawai`i Legislature. Photo from Tutu and Me
|A keiki enjoys a Tutu and Me program at Pahala Community Center.|
Photo by Julia Neal
A sample support letter states that such programs "provide families with tremendous support and prepare our keiki to make the transition into the formal learning process. Research has shown that there is a tremendous long-term savings to society when a child receives proper educational preparation.
"Family child interaction learning programs work closely with parents to teach them how to be their child’s first and foremost educator. It is a mixed delivery system that also equips parents to be well informed and how to be an advocate for their child.
"Funding for these programs will provide a needed service to many of our keiki who today must enter a system without the proper preparation." Support letters can be addressed to Rep. Roy Takumi, Chair and Rep. Sharon Har, Vice Chair of the House Committee on Educaiton. Those letters submitted to Clark by Wednesday morning will be presented in a package to the committee.
PUTTING HEALTH FOOD WITHIN REACH is the goal of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is partnering with Tutu and Me. Everyone can learn about this S.N.A.P program and how to apply. The free information will be given this Thursday, Feb. 9 at Pahala Community Center from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with Tutu and Me staff helping out. Call 933-6030 for more information.
GUN CONTROL ADVOCATE Ross Rammelmeyer, of Volcano, sent out a memo after the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education by the U.S. Senate today. For the first time in history, the vote of the Vice President was required to break the tie to confirm a cabinet member. VP Mike Pence voted for DeVos. Both of Hawai`i's U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz cast votes against the DeVos confirmation.
|Betsy DeVos, the 11th U.S.|
Secretary of Education
Rammelmeyer noted that guns in schools were an issue in the DeVos confirmation. When asked whether guns should be allowed in schools, DeVos said during her confirmation hearing, "That is best left to locales and states to decide. I will refer back to Sen, Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzles." She was also asked "If President Trump moves forward with this plan to ban gun-free school zones, will you support that?" She said she will support what the president does.
Rammelmeyer also pointed to Americans for Responsible Solutions founded by Mark Kelly and Gabby Gifford, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who was shot during an assassination attempt. Kelly said today that one of the organization's top priorities "is resisting efforts to end gun free school zones. The safety of our children is at stake, and we are going to fight both tooth and nail to protect them."
The “Can You Hear Me?” scam has long been used to coerce businesses into purchasing office supplies and directory ads they never actually ordered, but now it’s targeting individual consumers, as well.
Here’s how it works: The victim gets a call from someone who almost immediately asks “Can you hear me?”. The goal is to get the victim to answer “Yes,” which most people would do instinctively in that situation. There may be some fumbling around; the person may even say something like “I’m having trouble with my headset.” But in fact, the “person” may just be a robocall recording a conversation… and that “Yes” answer can be edited to make it sound like a major purchase was authorized.
Complaints to the Better Business Bureau say the calls are about vacation packages, cruises, warranties, and other big ticket items. So far, none have reported money loss, but it’s unclear how the scams will play out over time, or if the victims will be targeted at a later date.
The BBB advises: Use Caller ID to screen calls, and consider not even answering unfamiliar numbers. If it’s important, they will leave a message. If someone calls and asks “Can you hear me?,” do NOT answer “yes.” Just hang up. Scammers change their tactics as the public catches on, so be alert for other questions designed to solicit a simple “yes” answer. Make a note of the number and report it to https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/hawaii to help warn others. BBB also shares Scam Tracker information with government and law enforcement agencies, so every piece of information is helpful in tracking down scammers. Consider joining the Do Not Call Registry (DoNotCall.gov) to cut down on telemarketing and sales calls. This may help with scammers since they don’t bother to pay attention to the law, but you’ll get fewer calls overall. That makes the fraudulent calls more obvious.
Check bank and credit card statements regularly for unauthorized charges. It’s also a good idea to check telephone and cell phone bills, as well. Scammers may be using the “Yes” voice recording to authorize charges. This is called “cramming” and it’s illegal.