Monday, March 30, 2009

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force meeting - April 3

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force will meet Friday, April 3, 2009 at 11:30am at the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center at 1300 Halona Street. The public is welcome.

The Task Force was established by Act 220, 2008 to focus on the needs and issues of grandparents raising grandchildren. The Task Force plans to discuss the following: review DOE letter regarding the policy to include caregivers of special needs students, report on the March 9 focus group to identify issues that need to be emphasized in the report to the legislature, report on the March 12 Family Caregiver Awareness Day and Resource Fair, and April 13 presentation on 2008 Adoption Act.

Persons who wish to submit testimony or have questions are asked to contact Senator Les Ihara's office at 586-6250. A copy of the hearing notice may be found at:

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23 Meeting: Fighting for Air

Prof. Karl Kim

Click here to listen.

Speaker: Beth-Ann Kozlovich: is HPR talk show’s executive producer and host of Town Square and Director of Development, American Lung Association of Hawaii.

ALAH 2009-2009 Advocacy
ALAH Programs
Lung Disease in Hawaii

Beth-Ann Kozlovich, American Lung Association

Kozlovich, an asthma sufferer herself and whose father died of lung cancer, started her talk with some very scary statistics: lung cancer is the #1 killer in Hawaii, asthma is #2. 154,000 people in Hawaii have lung disease. Her Association provides services to address the prevention of breathing disorders and the promotion of lung health.

One of its most successful programs, the Teen Cessation Program, helped drop Hawaii’s teen smoking rate from 21% to 9.7% from 2000-2008. Since smokers start smoking as teenagers, this program focuses on 7th-12th graders mostly in the schools. Their Asthma Education and management program targets school children, school personnel and parents.

ALA has successfully advocated against smoking in pubic places, and forbidding smoking within 20 feet from workplace buildings. Prisoners can no longer smoke and report how much better they feel; however their guards still smoke.

Of great concern to the organization that gets most of the funding for their 13 programs from the Hawaii Tobacco Settlement Fund, is HB1731 now making its way through the legislature. The state administration wishes to balance the budget by “reallocating for 2 years from 07/01/09 to 06/30/2011, distribution of moneys in the Hawaii tobacco settlement special fund, including depositing 25% into the state general fund.” For information, go to

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 23 Program: Fighting for Air

Monday, March 23, 2009
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Miyama Main Hall, Harris United Methodist Church
Nuuanu Ave. and South Vineyard Blvd.

Ample parking - driveway off Nuuanu Ave.


11:30 Luncheon: Various Pizzas, Salad, Dessert by Eloise—$5.00 Donation

11:45 Welcome, Introductions and Remarks, Larry Geller, President

12:00 Program: Beth-Ann Kozlovich: “Fighting for Air.” Kozlovich is HPR talk show’s executive producer and host of Town Square and Director of Development, American Lung Association of Hawaii.

12:30 Questions and Answers

12:45 Announcements

1:00 Adjourn

Thursday, March 19, 2009

HARA Meets the Senators

HARA Meets the Senators—Al Hamai, chair of Hawaii Alliance of Retired Americans

Senator Dan Inouye

“We had a good meeting with Senator Inouye, not only on the issues but also a lot of small talk. The Senator has a collection of Jewish memorabilia, including a Hanukkah Menorah, which we all enjoyed. He noted that his first wife was a teacher and a member of a union. On a wall he had the labor contract for his grandparents, which paid his granddad $12 per month for 60 hours of work a week at a sugar plantation on Kauai, while grandma was paid $7.50. He said that contract reminds him of his background. He said that his Dad helped to organize his sugar plantation workers, before the ILWU.

We expressed our concern with the high cost of prescription drugs and the need to reduce these cost by authorizing our government to negotiate to drug companies to reduce drug prices. He stated that with the new administration and Congress, things would hopefully change. We also discussed the need to keep Medicare solvent and the desirability to end the Medicare Advantage program. We also urged him to support legislation to give retired Americans age 55-64 the option to join Medicare. He recalled that he was in the Congress when Medicare was enacted and he returned home to meet with the doctors and others who were opposed to Medicare because they thought it was "socialized medicine." He commented: we either are going to provide health care for all who need it or let them go without help as some countries had done. He recalled that Medicare when originally enacted was a simple basic program and not expensive. Now with many additions, it's a costly program.”

Senator Dan Akaka

States across the country are confronted with budget shortfalls while our citizens have increasing health care and social service needs. ARRA (the stimulus package) establishes the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and provides emergency Medicaid funding to ensure Americans can continue to rely on vital education and social safety net programs. Funding is also provided for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps), and childcare services.