Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Nov. 7, 2014

Ka`u residents are invited to participate in Kahuku: Born of a Hot Spot tomorrow at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
Photo from National Park Service
KA`U'S LARGE MARSHALLESE COMMUNITY and others will continue to receive state-funded health care during a pending lawsuit. In April, when Congress enacted the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and eliminated all federal funding for health benefits for COFA residents, Hawai`i’s Ninth Circuit Court decided that the state of Hawai`i could not be mandated to fund the federal government’s portion of benefits. “The Ninth Circuit’s decision confirms that the federal government cannot impose a duty on states to perform a function for which it does not provide funds,” said Attorney General David Louie. “The state will make sure that COFA residents continue to have uninterrupted access to their health benefits while this lawsuit is pending.”
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie approved and signed temporary emergency rules to maintain this status quo for receipt of medical assistance benefits by noncitizens, including citizens of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands residents. According to Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman, temporary emergency rules have been filed with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and shall remain in effect for up to 120 days.
Patricia McManaman
      The rules can be reviewed in full on at http://humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/.

 Noncitizen children and pregnant women receive Medicaid benefits, and therefore they are not and never have been at risk of losing their Medicaid benefits.

 Noncitizen aged, blind or disabled individuals currently receiving state-funded medical assistance will continue to receive the same benefits without interruption.
      Under the emergency rules, noncitizens who are not aged, blind or disabled and who are currently receiving state-funded medical assistance will continue to receive this assistance through Feb. 28, 2015.
      To avoid a gap in coverage and obtain health insurance beginning March 1, 2015, noncitizens who are not aged, blind or disabled and who are currently receiving state-funded medical assistance will be required to choose a health plan through Hawai`i Health Connector by Feb. 15, 2015. To facilitate this process, DHS will transfer eligibility information to the Connector.

      Certain low-income noncitizens enrolled in a health plan through the Connector may receive state-funded premium assistance.
      DHS has drafted proposed administrative rules to replace the temporary emergency rules and will hold a public hearing, as required by law, to ensure that the public has the opportunity to review and comment on the rules.
      Individuals affected by the temporary emergency rules and the proposed administrative rules will receive written notices that provide more detailed information.

      “My intent has always been to ensure that all of Hawai`i’s needy residents receive healthcare benefits,” said McManaman. “The emergency rules and the proposed administrative rules will do this.”
      McManaman anticipates a substantial annual savings after the administrative rules are adopted.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Richard Creagan
Richard Onishi
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR U.S. and state Legislatures received strong support in precincts from Volcano to Miloli`i in Tuesday’s General Election. 
      At the local precincts, Sen. Brian Schatz got the most support in Pahala, where 81.7 percent of voters cast ballots for him. In Miloli`i, he got 73 percent of votes, followed by Na`alehu with 69.6 percent, Volcano with 69 percent and Ocean View with 59.5 percent.
      In Pahala, 87.7 percent of voters re-elected Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, followed by 77.4 percent in Volcano 77.2 percent Na`alehu, 72.6 percent in Miloli`i and 68 percent in Ocean View.
      State Sen. Josh Green in District Three took 80.6 percent of votes in Miloli`i, 76.9 percent in Na`alehu and 67.7 percent in Ocean View.
      In House District Five, Rep. Richard Creagan got the most votes in Miloli`i with 61.2 percent, followed by 59.9 percent in Na`alehu and 56.6 percent in Ocean View.
      Voters in House District Three re-elected Rep. Richard Onishi with 83.6 percent of Pahala’s votes and 56.8 percent of Volcano’s.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Augie T performed in Ka`u
last year.
Image from Amazon.com
AUGIE T, THE COMEDIAN WHOSE BIRTH NAME is Augusto Tulba, is a new administrative assistant in the mayor’s office and will visit schools in Ka`u and around the island to motivate young people to exercise (Kenoi recently finished the Ironman Triathlon), refrain from bullying, do well and live clean. Mayor Billy Kenoi also visited schools years ago when he was hired as an administrative assistant for former Mayor Harry Kim. Kenoi brought an anti-drug message, for example, to a county-organized event for youth at Pahala pool, using his own humor for the delivery. Kenoi was often called the Hawaiian Jay Leno. 
      Augie T is familiar to the public for his comedy routines – live, on TV, radio and on DVD. He has acted as a helicopter pilot on Hawai`i Five-O. He performed in Ka`u at Shaka’s in Na`alehu. He is also the author of a book available on Amazon.com called Positive Stuff I Like.
      Another new assistant is Peter Boylan, former Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter who also worked on Colleen Hanabusa’s U.S. Senate campaign and as deputy legislative chief of staff for the late Sen. Dan Inouye.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

State Department of Transportation is assessing possible ways to return access
to roads recently covered by lava, such as Apa`a Street/Cemetery Road in Pahoa.
Images from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION is testing ways to rebuild roads in Puna if lava covers them. According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, Hawai`i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said DOT will begin applying aggregate over the portion of Apa`a Street covered by lava to see how geothermal heat reacts with it. Oliveira said officials from DOT, county Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will analyze how much insulation the material provides. 
      Oliveira said similar methods were used to re-establish access to Kalapana homes after flows there began to cool and harden.
      “Different ideas are being explored, realizing that restoration of the highway would be a definite benefit to returning the community to some form of normalcy,” Oliveira said. “It is being considered as well some protective measure to prevent or minimize concerns for collapse. There’s a lot of engineering being done behind this; aggregate is one piece of a full-scale concept.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AFTER RECEIVING LETTERS FROM THE STATE Department of Agriculture warning ag lot lessees in Puna of an effort to “do what is necessary to channel the lava flow down Kahakai Boulevard to try and control the direction of the flow,” Hawai`i County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said the information is incorrect and reiterated the county’s plans not to divert lava because, no matter what direction the lava goes, there are populated areas and structures in its path.
      Oliveira also reported that the lava flow is still stalled in Pahoa, with breakouts upslope. Continued inflation of interior portions of the flow could contribute to additional breakouts.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO.’S PARENT, Hawaiian Electric Co., reported net income for the third quarter of 2014 was $38.9 million compared to $37.8 million in the third quarter of 2013. Net revenues were $8 million higher compared to the third quarter of 2013 primarily due to $7 million in 2014 revenues attributable to recovery of costs for clean energy and reliability investments and $1 million for better fuel efficiency performance. 
      “We continue to work aggressively to lower customer bills by reducing Hawai`i’s dependence on imported oil. The recent energy plans we filed with the Public Utilities Commission are providing the starting point to launch important initiatives with a broad set of stakeholders to achieve our shared vision for Hawai`i’s clean energy future,” said Constance H. Lau, HEI president and chief executive officer. “In addition, we are proud of our dedicated utility company employees who worked tirelessly to restore power and help customers after Tropical Storm Iselle while completing our energy plans on time.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN ENJOY FREE PROGRAMS at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park this weekend.
      During Born from a Hotspot tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., participants learn about the birth of the islands from the Hawaiian hotspot and about past eruptions that impacted Kahuku. Visitors will be able to identify various pu`u (hills) and other volcanic features and learn about their formation.
Alan Okami, of Ko Aloha, with Keoki
Kahumoku Photo by Julia Neal
      A hike on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. focuses on the area’s human history. People & Lands of Kahuku is a guided, three-hour, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain.

A concert tomorrow celebrates
the life of Dennis Kamakahi.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE CARRIAGE HOUSE AT PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE is the site of an `ukulele build reunion Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All who have built `ukulele over the years through the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies programs in conjunction with Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, Ko Aloha `Ukulele and Pāhala Plantation Cottages are invited. Reservations for the `ukulele build have closed, but alumni are invited to bring their `ukulele for tune-ups, repairs and restringing.

A CONCERT SPONSORED BY THE CENTER for Hawaiian Music Studies celebrates the life of the late Dennis Kamakahi tomorrow from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
      Sponsored by the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, the concert and kani ka pila with `ohana features John Keawe, Diana Aki, Martin Pahinui, Ben Ka`iwi, Dennis’ son David Kamakahi, Keoki Kahumoku, Peter deAquino, Kai Ho`opi`i, the Abrigo `Ohana, Katy Rexford, Rion Schmidt and more.
      Donations will be accepted.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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