Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka'ū News Briefs Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017

Creating medical respite clinics, with services to provide housing, mental health care, showers, laundry and other
needs of the homeless, is a passion of west Ka'ū's state Senator. Photo from Sen. Josh Green
SOLUTIONS FOR THE HOMELESS are being promoted and realized by west Ka'ū's state Senator, with programs on O'ahu that could expand to this island. Sen. Josh Green, also a physician, confirmed today that the Honolulu H-4 Project urgent care facility, "a project that I have been championing for over two years, has been green-lighted to move forward in Iwilei to serve our chronically homeless and most struggling population. My team's vision and the vision of the Mayor's team for this project is not just another free clinic, but an overall health and wellness facility providing showers, laundry services, a health clinic, drug treatment, mental health services, extended stay care, and on-site case workers who will assist with efforts to help patients obtain permanent housing."
Sen. Josh Green
     Key partners in the initiative include Queen's Hospital and HMSA, Dr. Scott Miscovich, IHS, regional community health centers, EMS and police department leaders, numerous key council members and state legislators, Hawai'i Community Foundation thought leaders, Rick Blangiardi, Dr. Danny Chang, Anthony Aalto, Duane Kuriso, "and many other passionate advocates for Hawai'i's people," said Green.
     He said such a respite clinic, in addition to providing a safe, functional environment for those in need to get services and treatment, will "alleviate both the financial and medical strain on our over taxed emergency rooms. I treat homeless individuals every day that I'm in the ER who are not experiencing an actual medical emergency, and the costs are astronomical to our hospitals and society. By creating a place for homeless people to receive medical treatment when their situation is not dire, we will save millions of dollars and keep hospital beds open for those who need them.
     "While there is still so much work to be done, this is a big step in the right the direction in our on-going efforts to combat our homelessness crisis, and I am excited about moving forward on this endeavor and many others in the months and years to come," said Green.
     Green has made national news advocating for doctors to be able to prescribe, and insurance pay for, housing for the homeless. He contends that having a home cuts medical expenses, largely paid for by government.

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PLANNED PARENTHOOD received support from Sen. Mazie Hirono this week as she toured the Hawaiian Islands, visiting state agencies to receive updates on health care in Hawai'i and meeting with health care leaders and providers on strengthening the ACA and improving the health care system. Hirono released a statement saying that "Unrelenting Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood threaten to turn back the clock on decades of progress we've made on women's health care. By providing access to affordable preventative health services, like cancer screenings, Planned Parenthood has served thousands of Hawai'i residents and families. I will continue to fight to protect women's health and our right to control our bodies."
Sen. Maize Hirono visited health agencies and health leaders during the
congressional break in Hawai'i.
     Laurie Field, Hawai'i Public Affairs Manager at Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai'i, said, "In this political climate, we are incredibly grateful for the support of our patients, supporters, donors, and elected officials, like Senator Mazie Hirono in Hawai'i. People across the country need access to affordable, high-quality health care and Hawai'i recognizes the value Planned Parenthood brings to the state. Congressional Republican leadership is determined to roll back progress, but Hawai'i remains a leader in health care and is making long-term investments in the critical services we provide."
     Hirono has led efforts to continue federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides millions of Americans with access to contraceptive services, sexually transmitted infection (STI) and cancer screenings, well-woman visits, and other health services every year. Earlier this year, Hirono opposed Republican efforts to exclude Planned Parenthood from Title X family planning service grants. "Reducing federal funding for Planned Parenthood would threaten access to critical services for hundreds of thousands of low-income women around the country who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers," said Hirono.

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EAST HAWAI'I DEMOCRATIC PARTY invites Ka'ū and Volcano residents to a community clean-up at Coconut Island on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to noon - with potluck and talk-story to follow. Shannon Matson, the recently elected Hawai'i County East Hawai'i Vice Chair said the organization wants "to work towards positive change." The event is co-sponsored by State Senator Kai Kahele, State House Representative Chris Todd, and Friends of Heather Kimball with the help of Hawai'i Wildlife Fund and donations from Sustainable Island Products.
     It is being organized as part of the National Democratic Party's Resistance Summer. "Come out to show gratitude for our beautiful island and share delicious food and revolutionary ideas," said Matson.
    Matson said, "I feel strongly about the future of our economy and environment. I am excited to serve in this position to help hold our currently elected Democratic leaders accountable to our platform as well as the opportunity to support new candidates who will bring positive change to our community. I look forward to hearing about your ideas and concerns about the future of our party and what we can do to work together to unite our party and make the changes we need for Hawai'i."
     For those unable to attend but who would like to get more involved in "making a difference," said Matson, "our County Democratic Party has created about a dozen committees to work on specific legislative efforts and more general projects including a 2018 voter guide. Our County Chair will soon be sending out an eblast to explain further and encourage your participation in these committees - so watch for that in mid September." Contact Matson at 937-3037 or hotyogahilo@gmail.com.

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REGISTER KEIKI, grades K-8, until Tuesday, August 29, to make a beaded key chain on Wednesday, August 30, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Call 928-3102 for more.

HOVE ROAD MAINTENANCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 29, at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church. For more details call 929-9910.

KA'Ū FOOD PANTRY, a non-profit organization that aims to provide each family in need with three days of food, will be handing out food again on Tuesday, August 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Most of the food comes from Food Basket of Hawai'i, Inc. in Kona. Ka'ū Food Basket pays them a small handling fee for the food they provide.

AN EVENING WITH JOHN DAWSON is free to attend on Thursday, August 31, at 7 p.m. in the Volcano Art Center. Donations accepted. For more details call 967-8222. 
     Live Long and Prosper Mighty 'Ōhi'a a collection of paintings and illustrations that focus on the highly variable display of ‘ōhi’a lehua trees found within the park is currently available for viewing daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 8, at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Gallery viewings are free, though park entrance fees apply.

Pick up the August edition of The Ka`u Calendar delivered
free to 5,500 mailboxes throughout Ka`u, from Miloli`i 
through Volcano. Also available on stands throughout
the district. See it online at www.kaucalendar.com

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