About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Sept. 23, 2013

Pahala Pool was shut down this morning since phone service was out and the lifeguard was unable to call 911,
if needed. Photo by Tanya Ibarra
TELEPHONE LAND LINES AND MUCH OF THE CELL SERVICE for Ka`u into South Kona was absent from around 6:30 p.m. last night into this morning. A fiber optic line, according to Hawai`i Civil Defense spokesmen, broke in North Kohala. The line was specific to South Kona and Ka`u and left other phone services around the island intact. AT&T service is attached to the land line in Kohala. The land line and cell phone service are not totally independent from one another, Civil Defense explained. Why the line became broken is still a question. There was no accidental breaking by earth machines disturbing an underground cable, nor any vehicle accident running into a communications pole.
An optical fiber junction box.
Photo from wikipedia
      The outage led to such unusual circumstances as 911 being unavailable from phones and people needing assistance going directly to a police officer’s house.
      Pahala Pool was shut down this morning for safety reasons since the lifeguard was unable to call 911 if needed.
      This morning, cell service for AT&T was restored by 10 a.m., but land line service was still out “due to telephone company facility troubles,” said the Hawaiian Telcom message when dialing. Hawaiian Telcom Internet service was also down. Oceanic Cable Internet and phone service remained in operation throughout the outage time.
      Land line service was restored as of approximately 10:30 a.m.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE RATES approved for the Hawai`i Health Connector are so far among the lowest in cost in the nation, according to an analysis by the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Insurance Division.
      Compared to the results of a study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Hawai`i’s rates before tax credits and reimbursement estimates for a 40-year-old resident at $217 would be the third lowest.
  1. Portland, Ore. $201 
  2. Albuquerque, NM $212 
  3. Honolulu $217 
  4. Burlington, VT $413
      “The state of Hawai`i continues to be a leader in our nation’s healthcare transformation,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Hawai`i residents are seeing the benefit of collaboration between state government agencies, insurers and nonprofit stakeholders in the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. We are working together toward our shared goal of universal healthcare and ensuring access to quality health care for everyone in our state.”

      Starting Oct. 1, the Hawai`i Health Connector will begin offering plans approved by the Insurance Division. Those plans will be ranked by “metal” levels:
  • platinum with a 90/10 cost share; 
  • gold at 80/20; 
  • silver at 70/30; and 
  • bronze at 60/40. 
      Beyond that, the individual’s coverage will be adjusted for age, family size and tobacco use.
      In a comparison of analysis done by Avalere Health, the Insurance Division’s actuaries found that Hawai`i has the lowest average monthly plan rate in each of the four metal levels before tax credits and reimbursement estimates.
      On Oct. 1, individuals and small business owners can check with Hawai`i Health Connector to compare plans and see what benefits, tax credits and rates they will be eligible for. They can sign up for a plan, with insurance coverage starting Jan. 1.
      Individuals under 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($52,920 for an individual and $108,360 for a family of four) can have their net out-of-pocket cost to purchase health insurance reduced.
      These costs are averages, and individuals should go to HawaiiHealthConnector.com or contact HHC’s marketplace assisters to get the best idea on what they can expect to pay.
      A key provision under the Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is that everyone must have health insurance starting on Jan. 1, 2014. To accomplish this, ACA prohibits health insurers from denying the purchase of health insurance if a person had a pre-existing medical condition. Everyone can purchase a policy regardless of health status.
      Small businesses with 25 employees or fewer could qualify for a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the cost of health insurance to help offset the cost of providing health insurance to their employees. Presently, the tax credit is up to 35 percent. The amount of the credit depends on the size of the business and the average wage of its employees.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Pu`u Wa`awa`a is open for hunting during weekend in September and October. Photo from puuwaawaa.org
KA`U HUNTERS CAN USE THEIR SKILLS to control feral goats and sheep at Pu`u Wa`awa`a Forest Reserve. The Department of Land and Natural Resources is issuing permits for the program, which will be conducted on weekends starting Sept. 28 and ending Oct. 20.
      The program will be limited to archery for the first three weekends followed by one weekend of muzzleloader for feral goats and feral sheep. There is no bag limit on feral goats and non-typical rams.
      For safety purposes, a maximum of 50 permittees will be allowed per day.
      For permit assignments, call the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Waimea at 808-887-6063. Permits will be assigned on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. until slots are filled for only one day of the first weekend.
      A valid hunting license is required to apply for a permit. A maximum of five permittees will be allowed per call, and only one slot per hunter is allowed.
      Participation for the remainder portion of the program will be on a first-come, first-served basis at the hunter check station on the day of program.
      Permittees are to check in at the Pu`u Wa`awa`a check station between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. and must be checked-out by 6 p.m. Vehicle passes will be given at the hunter check station.
      Stand-bys will be allowed after noon for the first weekend and as slots become open for the rest of the program.
      For further information, call the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Offices in Hilo at 808-974-4221 or in Waimea at 808- 887-6063.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S art show and cover contest for The Directory 2014 begins a week from today at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday. Announcement of winners takes place at a reception Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
      Entries for the art show are accepted this Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE DIRECTORY 2014, KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S annual publication with listings of community organizations and businesses, is accepting memberships, advertising and scholarship donations through Tuesday, Oct. 1.
      Contact Elijah Navarro at 430-9461 or e38navarro@gmail.com.

Weaving with leaves of the pandanus tree is the topic of a workshop
Wednesday. Photo from hawcc.hawaii.edu
AMY KA`AWALOA AND MALIA MACABIO teach the art of weaving with leaves of the pandanus tree, from gathering the material to preparation and the final product, Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the lanai of Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      The free program is part of Hawai`i Volcanoes’ ongoing `Ike Hana No`eau: Experience the Skillful Work workshops. Park entrance fees apply.

HA`AO SPRINGS AND MOUNTAIN HOUSE Agricultural Water Co-op meets Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park. The focus of the meeting is to develop a Water User Agreement. Melanie Bondera, of the Kohala Center, will provide guidance in the process.