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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pahala Equestiran Lorilee Lorenzo is back to her Pahala home after riding in the Merrrie Monarch 
Parade in Hilo over the weekend. She was joined by youth members of the Hawai`i Horse 
Owners Association: Lorenzo, Grace Andrade, Jensten Andrade, Blayk Hanoa and Kassey Hanoa.
A NEW HELE-ON BUS TEMPORARY CHIEF has been named by Mayor Harry Kim. Curtis Sharp, a retired marine who served in Abu Dhabi and other far away places, takes the post on May 1. The post is temporary and called Mass Transit Analyst. Applications to fill the top administration post, called Mass Transit Administrator, will be posted soon.
The Hele-On Bus system operated by County of Hawai`i is getting a
temporary leader and some hands on involvement from
Mayor Harry Kim to improve it. Photo from Hele-On Bus
     An outside consulting company has put people on the buses around the island to evaluate the service and survey the needs of the communities. Mayor Harry Kim told an audience at his talk story in Ocean View in February that the Hele-On system "is a disaster." He told West Hawai`i Today on Monday that he seeks to upgrade the service and that current Transit Administrator Tiffany Kai is stepping down to the position of para-transit coordinator. 
     The Hele-On runs at a loss, according to the story by Nancy Cook Lauer. The report in Tuesday's West Hawai`i Today states that the average ride costs the county about $11.77 a passenger. Passengers pay $1 to $2 per ride. About ten percent of the funding comes from federal money. Bus fares add up to less than $1 million and the annual budget is around $13.8 million.
     Trouble with the Hele-On includes many broken down buses, though five used ones will soon be shipped over from the Honolulu public bus system, reports West Hawai`i Today. The local bus shortage, with a little over half of the 55 buses working, has led to late arrivals at bus stops and routes sometimes cancelled. 
     The Vision Statement of the Hele-On is to “Create a transportation agency the rest of the world recognizes as the best.” Its Mission Statement is to: “Provide safe, clean, convenient transportation services for the residents and visitors to the County of Hawai‘i."
   For Ka`u, Hele-On provides a lifeline for workers to reach the resorts in Hilo, Kona and Kohala and for college students to reach Kona and Hilo. It also provides after school buses for students so they can participate in sports and other activities. Many senior citizens also ride the bus for doctors appointments and to shop. The fare for the general public is $2. Seniors, students through college and the disabled pay $1.
    See more at www.westhawaiitoday.com

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A NEW HEALTH INSURANCE PROPOSAL IN CONGRESS is drawing opposition from Sen. Brian Schatz. The amendment would allow states to allow insurance companies to charge a higher premium to those with preexisting conditions. According to a retweet from Shatz, the first health care bill this congressional session considered would have resulted in 24 million people losing coverage, a Medicaid cut of $880 billion and a tax cut for millionaires. The newest bill would do the same plus gut the rules that prevent those with preexisting conditions from being charged more. In addition, Pres. Donald Trump has threatened to hold back federal subsidies to insurance companies that serve low income people if the companies don't go along with his health care proposals. "Trump's threat of sabotage will increase premiums an additional 20 percent," says the American Academy of Actuaries, whose statement is retweeted by Schatz.

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COFFEE WITH A COP has been announced for Wednesday, May 10 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to the casual, no-agenda, talk-story opportunity to meet local police officers. It will take place at Na`alehu Ace Hardware. May 10 is National Coffee With a Cop Day.

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Weave Ulana Niu, Wed, April 26, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn how to weave coconut fronds into useful and beautiful items. Free, park entrance fees apply.

Hawai‘i’s Reef Fish, Thu, April 27, 7 – 9 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. John Hoover explains how fish take care of their food, security & reproductive needs. Free; donations accepted.

Coffee Talk, Fri, April 28, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A free monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, April 28, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.