Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, July 14, 2017

Care homes, rural clinics, shelters and many health services to the poor and elderly would shut down under
the proposed Trumpcare bill, according to Sen. Mazie Hirono who released a video on the subject. 
PROPOSED TRUMPCARE WOULD BE DEVASTATING, according to Sen. Mazie Hirono, health care leaders from across the state, and people they serve. They illustrate the impact in a video released by the U.S. Senator. It contends that the latest health care bill before the U.S. Senate would cut back Medicaid severely and that clinics and shelters would shut down.
     “Health care is a right, not a privilege for those who can afford it,” said Hirono. “Hawai`i residents have a simple message: oppose this mean, ugly bill.” She said, "In Hawai`i and across the country, Trumpcare would affect the sickest, oldest and poorest in our communities."
Many of Hawai`i's citizens depend on Medicaid and other support
that would be slashed in the Trumpcare bill, says Hirono.
     On Thursday, Senate Republicans introduced their latest version of Trumpcare – a bill that would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, a program that nearly one in four Hawai`i residents depend on every day, said Hirono. In the Hawai`i based video, Wes Lo, CEO of Hale Makua Health Services on Maui, where 80 percent of residents depend on Medicaid, said: “If you don’t have a health care system, what does that do to a community? You’ll stop seeing the tourism industry thrive here. You’ll stop seeing real estate thrive here. You’ll probably start seeing a recession and economic collapse here.”
     Marie Osaki, Hale Makua resident, said, “I really don’t know what would happen. I really don’t want to imagine what would happen. It would be a rough thing.”
n     Keith Moniz, brother of a Hale Makua Resident, said that cuts in Medicaid "would be devastating. We had a difficult time taking care of him when he was at home, and he’s gotten the care that he needs here. The staff has been so super. It would be a big loss…I don’t know what we would do, where we would be able to get him.”
     Sheila Beckham, CEO of Waikiki Health, said, “We’ve cranked a few numbers, and we’ve really looked at the devastating effect of having Medicaid go away. What I’ve already decided to do if we lose both of those sources is to close down all the small clinics, shut down admin, shut down the shelter, and only run two clinics. I would lay off between 80 and 100 people.”
     Alvin Keohohina, Hale Maua resident said, “I’m not a politician, I don’t know about these health care things. But I know that these programs really help those who are in need. I really hope that they would take a longer look at it and realize that are in need like the elderly and disabled.”
     Christina Leee, Chief Medical Officer of Waimanalo Health Center, said, “Access is not just that there’s different health care plans that you choose and pay for. If people can’t afford them, then that’s not access.” See the video at https://www.facebook.com/senatorhirono/videos/1086060714859878/

Hurricane Fernanda is a Category Four hurricane and headed toward Hawaiian waters but is expected
to weaken and become a tropical storm before reaching the Big Island. 
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HURRICANE FERNANDA is Major Hurricane, sporting a ten-mile-wide eye and good outflow, with an intensity of about 145 mph, according to the Friday night, 8 p.m. forecast from the National Hurricane Center. As she moves along at 12 mph, her intensity is expected to increase to 155 mph by Saturday morning as she turns northwest towards Hawai`i. The prediction is for Fernanda's windspeed to slowly decrease as she heads into cooler waters to 70 mph by the time she reaches the Hawaiian Islands next week.

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EXTENDED GI BENEFITS FOR VETERANS, surviving spouses and dependents are in a new bill announced on Friday by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard who co-chairs the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus. Gabbard joined the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees in introducing the bipartisan Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has worked this year on improving the GI Bill and
services to women's veterans. Photo from Office of Tulsi Gabbard
     The legislation would be applied to all new enlistees in the military, and would: Remove time restrictions to use the GI Bill, enabling future eligible recipients to use their GI bill benefits for their entire lives, as opposed to the current 15-year timeline; simplify the benefit for future service members by consolidating the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill into a single program over time, which would reduce the VA’s administrative costs; provide significant increases in      GI Bill funding for Reservists and Guardsmen, dependents, surviving spouses and surviving dependents, provide 100 percent GI Bill eligibility to Post 9/11 Purple Heart recipients; restore eligibility for service members whose school closes in the middle of a semester and create a pilot program that would pay for veterans to take certain high technology courses.
     Gabbard said: “The GI Bill is one of the most important earned benefits that help set our troops up for success while in the service, and after they lay down the uniform." The legislation "will eliminate barriers and increase accessibility to make it easier for our troops, veterans and their dependents to get the education they’ve earned by enhancing existing benefits, correcting gaps in eligibility, and ensuring GI Bill benefits keep up with the 21st century economy. Last year in Hawaiʻi, more than 7,000 veterans used their earned education benefit to open the door to new opportunities for them and their family, and we must continue to build on this progress.”
     Gabbard has also sponsored legislation this year to ensure services for women veterans.

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Recycling at Nā‘ālehu School, Sat, July 15, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nā‘ālehu School Gym. Redeem your HI-5 sorted by type; receive 5 cents per container and additional 20 cents per pound on all aluminum. Atlas Recycling donates 20 cents per pound on all aluminum redeemed to the school. 939-2413, ext. 230

Hula Performance, Sat, July 15, 10:30 a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Kumu hula Kaho‘okele Crabbe with Halauolaokalani. Nā Mea Hula with Loke Kamanu & ‘ohana, 11a.m. – 1 p.m.

Mongolian BBQ, Sat, July 15, 5 – 8 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356 for more details.

Celebration of Health, Mon, July 17, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., Nā‘ālehu Hongwanji Mission. A gathering of oneness of groups practicing Good Health activities. Meditation with Velvet Replogle, Yoga with Stephanie Pepper, Tai Chi with Phillip Hema & Qi Gong with Shary Crocker. Nutritious snacks and dishes. Everyone welcome. 929-7647

Drawing in the Park, Tue, July 18, 11a.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Ken Charon Free. 967-8222

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