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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015

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Tropical Storm Nora, southeast of Hawai`i Island, will turn north before becoming a hurricane, forecasters say. Map from NOAA

HAWAI`I HEALTH CARE professionals disagree about recently announced insurance rate increases for 2016 Affordable Care Act individuals and small groups. Some rates are going up by as much as 34 percent.
      “It’s a mistake. It’s very shortsighted to raise premiums excessively right now," Jeff Kissel, executive director of the Hawai`i Health Connector, told Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Kristen Consillio. “It’s really targeted at the working class. It’s a huge burden on them, and I don’t think it’s fair.”
Information about health insurance plans is available at healthcare.gov.
      According to Consillio, individuals not covered by an employer and those whose incomes are too high to qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies or Medicaid are the most affected. Early retirees who are not yet 65 are also affected because they are not eligible for Medicare.
      “The average worker is suffering the rate increase a lot more than the person who is receiving subsidized health care,” Kissel told Consillio. “For the 39 percent who don’t (qualify for subsidies), they’re paying the full amount of the increase, and they don’t get a tax deduction. When you look at normal people who aren’t able to have employer-paid insurance and aren’t eligible for subsidies, it’s going to be more of a challenge for normal middle-class people to afford it.”
      A Health and Human Services spokesman who asked not to be further identified told Consillio that Affordable Care Act plans have more benefits and the program has helped many more people have insurance.
      “Prior to the Affordable Care Act, we lived in a world where double-digit premium increases were the norm, and that was often for inferior policies and policies that charged a higher premium or denied coverage to consumers entirely due to a pre-existing condition,” the HHS spokesman said. “The Affordable Care Act overhauled the way insurance companies treat consumers by requiring insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, ending discrimination based on gender and allowing only limited variation in premiums based on age.
      “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all Americans can shop around for the best deal on the marketplace regardless of their medical history.”
      See staradvertiser.com.
      Information about health insurance plans is available at healthcare.gov.
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CAMPING ON MAUNA KEA CONTINUES to be prohibited. As a follow-up to Friday’s court decision invalidating the emergency rule prohibiting overnight presence along the upper Mauna Kea road corridor, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources reminds people that camping in forest reserves and public hunting areas without a permit remains illegal under Hawai`i Administrative Rules. 
      Additional rules pertaining to activities in all state forest reserves and public hunting areas include using motor vehicles without due caution for the rights or safety of others or in a manner that endangers any person or property; camping or residing or any construction, improvement or occupancy or use of any structure within a forest reserve without a written permit from the State Board of Land and Natural Resources; damage or disturbance of any property of improvement; and disorderly conduct that creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which is not performed under any authorized license or permit.
      In Natural Area Reserves on Mauna Kea and elsewhere, Hawai`i Administrative Rules prohibit the removal, damage or disturbance of any geological or paleontologic features or substances.
      DLNR stated that it will continue to enforce these regulations.
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TROPICAL STORM NORA was 930 miles east-southeast of South Point and moving west as of 11 a.m. Although it continues to strengthen and is forecast to become a hurricane late today, forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center expect Nora to turn north, then northeast, with Hawai`i several hundred miles away from its path.
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ASTRONOMER LEW COOK DESCRIBES stars and constellations visible this month in Stars Over Ka`u, his monthly contribution to The Ka`u Calendar.
      “Venus is a morning star and can easily be seen before sunrise, after it rises just after 3 a.m. on Oct. 15,” Cook wrote. “Mars is in Leo, too, but is far from the Earth in the constellation Leo. Jupiter also is in Leo and won’t make its face seen before 3:30 a.m. On the morning of Oct.15, Jupiter and Mars form a cute little triangle with Chi Leo, a fourth-magnitude star, and continues on the mornings of Oct. 18 and 19. But you must get up early to see them, between 4 a.m. and morning twilight.
      “All three of these planets get together near each other near the end of the month (but not as close together as Mars and Jupiter on Oct. 18) Then they will be about six degrees apart, while on Oct. 18 Mars and Jupiter are about half a degree apart. Saturn is up in the west as it gets dark but sets around 8 p.m.
      “Some of the constellations may be new to some of you; for example, Camelopardalis, a faint tracing of stars in the northeast. This is a giraffe, possibly watching out for Leo, the lion. Leo won’t rise for hours and is probably distracted by the antics of Mars, Venus and Jupiter around its feet. There’s also a ram (Aries), a bull (Taurus), a whale (Cetus), two fish on a stringer (Pisces), one fish swimming freely (Pisces Australis) and an old goat (Capricorn). The flying critters are busy flapping or soaring across the sky. There’s Cygnus the swan that has been gliding, or soaring, across the sky since summer, along with the eagle, Aquila.
      “There’s also the crane, Grus, taking off upwards. Meanwhile, the toucan sits blithely by watching from his perch while the phoenix rises from its ashes. Meanwhile, the flying horse, named Pegasus, flies overhead.
      “There are people, too. Remember Queen Cassiopeia and King Cepheus? Their daughter Andromeda was to be sacrificed to the sea monster Cetus, but Perseus had other plans. In Greek mythology, there was a monster, Medusa. Just looking at Medusa’s head would turn any mortal being to stone. Averting his gaze, Perseus used his golden sword to slice off Medusa’s head. Keeping his gaze from the severed head, which retained its power, he showed it to Cetus, turning the monster to stone. Then, he rescued Andromeda, who married him.
      “There are other people shown in the sky, too. There is the Sculptor who may be looking for his lost triangle; it is north of Aries, the Charioteer Auriga, the departing hero Hercules and old dependable Aquarius, the water carrier. Is the river Eridanus the source of his water, or is what he spills its source?
      “Taurus is rising in the east, and the Pleiades are easily visible. Take a look with your telescopes or binoculars. Don’t the Pleiades look spectacular? Do remember to take a look at the Great Nebula in Andromeda, M31.”
      See kaucalendar.com.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

KA`U CROSS COUNTRY runner Chloe Gan bested more than half of the 60 female competitors at yesterday’s cross country high school meet at Kea`au. The Trojan earned a time of 24 minutes and 48.86 seconds.

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KA`U HIGH SCHOOL TROJANS’ eight-man football team kept the score close in the first half last night, but Kohala revved up in the second half to close out 27-6. Ikaika Salmo-Grace intercepted the ball and scored Ka`u’s one touchdown in the second quarter.
      Kohala takes this years eight-man football title for Hawai`i Island high schools. Last year, Ka`u won the title.
    Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

THE 28TH ANNUAL TRASH ART SHOW, Hawai`i Artists Recycle! is currently on display at the Hawai`i Museum of Contemporary Art at 141 Kalakaua Street in Hilo. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Ira Ono, at right, hosts the Trash Art Show.
Photo from Volcano Garden Arts
      The Trash Art Show brings a heightened awareness of responsibility to protect and honor the Earth through recycling. 
      The museum is free and open to the public (donations are gladly accepted) and is sponsored by the East Hawai`i Cultural Council and Recycle Hawai`i.
       “I would like to personally invite you to view the show,” said host Ira Ono, who is considered the father of recycled art in the state and juror to many of the recycled art shows throughout Hawai`i. Ono is proprietor of Volcano Garden Arts in Volcano Village.

SENIOR ID CARDS ARE AVAILABLE tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Jude Church in Ocean View. Call 928-3100 for more information.

KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life this and every other Tuesday. A Walk into the Past programs at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. begin at Kilauea Visitor Center and travel to Whitney Vault near Volcano House in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Free; park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 985-6011.

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS final organizing meeting is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House, which is the venue for the event this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
      For more information, call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

For Affordable Computer Help, call John Derry at 936-1872.





See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_October2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.







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