Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund has been working all summer to clean up the Ka`u Coast and other shorelines, including
a volunteer event this Friday.  Photo by Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
"IF YOU GET SICK, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. In the richest country in the world, we can take care of each other," tweeted Hawai`i Sentator Brian Schatz on Tuesday when the U.S. Senate voted to send the Affordable Care Act repeal bill to the floor for debate. "This thing is not over. Not by a long shot. We took a gut punch, but people agree with us, and we should act like it. Keep fighting!" said Schatz.
     Sen. Mazie Hirono released a statement saying, “Today’s vote was disappointing, but our fight to save the Affordable Care Act is only beginning. Any proposal Senate Republicans come up with will kick millions off of their health care and hurt the sickest, oldest, and poorest in our communities. If this is what the Republican Party wants to stand for, the American people will hold them accountable.”
Sen. Brian Schatz with a bull horn, joins Senators  Mazie Hirono,
Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, and Cory
Booker on the steps of the Capitol urging protection of health care.
Photo from Brian Schatz
      Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tweeted, "We should be expanding Medicare & increasing access to healthcare, not taking it away from millions - we must fight for the American people."
     Sending the bill to the Senate floor brings it one step closer to passage. AARP vowed to inform its 38 million members and the public the voting record for and against Obamacare "in our publications, online and in direct alerts."
     Almost every health, hospital, doctors and nurses association in the United States lobbied against the proposed repeal. The American Medical Association urged the Senate to reject efforts to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, stating, "Recent revisions do not correct core elements that will lead to millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage with a resulting decline in both health status and outcomes.
Sen. Mazie Hirono asked people to help fight to keep health
insurance for the poor, the middle class and the elderly, after
the Senate vote to debate on repealing Obamacare.
Photo from Mazie Hirono
   "In numerous communications this year, we have urged Congress to approach reform of the Affordable Care Act in a manner consistent with a number of key objectives. These objectives, embedded in AMA policy and ratified by the representatives of the more than 190 state and national medical specialty organizations represented in the AMA House of Delegates, have formed the basis for AMA consideration of reforms to our health care system. Among these priorities are efforts to ensure that those currently covered do not become uninsured; the preservation of key insurance market reforms and efforts to stabilize and strengthen the individual insurance market; ensuring that low and moderate income patients are able to secure affordable and meaningful coverage; and the provision of adequate funding for Medicaid and other safety net programs.
     "Unfortunately, neither the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act nor the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act adequately addresses these key concerns. Each bill results in millions more Americans without health insurance coverage, weakened markets, less access to affordable coverage and care, and the undermining of funding for state Medicaid programs. Furthermore, while efforts have been made to improve the bill through provisions such as supplemental funding to address opioid abuse and market stability funding, these investments are made necessary because of the reduced health insurance coverage and weakened markets brought about by the underlying legislation.
     "Senators from both sides of the aisle have expressed interest in pursuing remedies to stabilize the individual market and foster greater availability and choice of health plans. We urge Congress to take this initial step. Longer term, stakeholders and policymakers need to work in concert to address the challenge of unsustainable trends in health care costs. The AMA is ready to work on both short and long-term solutions.
     "The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and the 21st Century Cures Act are recent examples of what can be accomplished to improve the health of the nation when Congress works in a bipartisan fashion and with key stakeholder groups. Again, we urge you to reject efforts to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act and work instead toward improvements that will increase access to affordable, quality health care coverage for all Americans," the AMA statement concluded.

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Blue Zone offers a cooking demo in Na`alehu on Friday
and a healthy gardening demo on Aug. 2,
Photo from Blue Zone
BLUE ZONE IS HOSTING HEALTHY LIVING EVENTS on Thursday, July 27 at Na`alehu Community Center at 11 a.m. with a cooking demonstration. On Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. iwll be a gardening demonstration at Pahala Community Center. A statement from Blue Zone says, "The world’s longest-lived people live in environments that constantly nudge them toward a healthy lifestyle that includes moving naturally, eating wisely, having the right outlook, and connecting with family and friends." Blue Zone is sponsored by HMSA, the largest health insurer in Hawai`i.

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HELP CLEAN THE KA`U COAST with a Kamilo workday this Friday, July 28. Join Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and KUPU volunteers. Space is limited. Contact Hawai`i Wildlife Fund through Megan Lamson, kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY'S CORPORATE COUNCIL FOR THE ENVIRONMENT raised over $200,000 for local conservation in fiscal year 2017.
     Ka`u sites include the Kamehame Hawksbill Turtle Preserve, and native forest preserves stretching from Pahala to Na`alehu.
Hawksbill turtle nest at Kamehame.
Photo by Will Olsen/Hawksbille Turtle Project
     The Corporate Council for the Environment is a group of local business leaders who recognize the vital link between Hawaii’s environment and its economy. Since its launch in 1987, the Corporate Council has raised over $4 million to protect Hawaii’s natural resources.
     Corporate Visionary supporters with donations of $25,000 or more are: Alaska Airlines, Moana ‘Ohana, and Skyline Eco-Adventures. Executive Leadership Circle supporters with donations of $10,000 or more are: ABC Stores, Alexander & Baldwin, Hawaiian Electric Industries, The Shidler Family Foundation, and William Yeoward Crystal.
     “In Hawai‘i, the environment is the economy,” said Ulalia Woodside, the Conservancy’s Hawai‘i Executive Director. “These companies know the importance of protecting the lands and waters that sustain Hawaii’s people, economy and island way of life.”
     Since 1980, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 200,000 acres of natural lands in Hawai‘i and works with other public and private landowners to protect the islands’ key watersheds. The Conservancy manages a statewide network of 14 preserves and works in 20 coastal communities to protect the near-shore waters of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Hawksbill Turtle Preserve makai of Pahala, cared for
by The Nature Conservancy and the Hawksbill
Turtle Project. Photo by Steve Raner
Ohe Kāpala Demonstration, Wed, July 26, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn to create designs from traditional patterns using bamboo stamps (‘ohe kāpala). Free; park entrance fees apply.

Free Cooking Demo, Thursday, July 27, 9:30 a.m., Nā‘ālehu Community Center. Learn how to prepare plant-based recipes that are Blue Zones-approved. Enjoy samples, meet people from your community, and join a walking or potluck group to win prizes. RSVP jade.iokepa@healthways.com.

Coffee Talk, Friday, July 28, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. An informal conversation on a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase. Free.

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Friday, July 28, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.

Kimchi Making, Sat, July 29, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Aaron and Soohee Martinson introduce students to techniques used to make traditional Korean kimchi. 967-8222.

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