Big Island Resident Ka‘ehu‘ae‘e Announces Run for Governor

Big Island resident Wendell Ka’ehu’ae’a has once again thrown his hat into the political scene here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

On his Facebook account this evening, he has announced that he will run for the Governor of Hawaii.

The following was posted to his account:

For GOV 2018. IMUA “NO MORE LIES”. Wkaehuaea@Yahoo.com. P.O. Box 6848 Hilo, Hawaii 96720. Graduated Farrington High School, Honolulu 1960. U.S. Navy, Veteran, 1960-1964. Serve under Admiral John McCain, 7th Fleet Pacific. Aloha Airlines, Honolulu Terminal. Suisan, Hilo. Cost Accountant and Sales. Build two Radio Stations. KAHU AM Panaewa, Hilo. KAHU FM Pahala, Ka’u. Puna Sugar, Supervisor Cultivating Department. Hawaiian Homes Farm Lot. Panaewa, Hawaii. For 30 Years. Hawaii Community College at Hilo. AA Liberal Arts 1997. University of Hawaii at Hilo. BA Communication, BA Political Science, and a Minor in Economics 2000. Nā Leo ‘O Hawaii. Community Access Television. Hilo. Community Outreach Producer. Goals and Promise. Get All Hawaiians on the waiting List on the Lands State-wide. Support All Programs for Seniors, Veterans and Handicap. IMUA, “NO MORE LIES”. Mahalo for Your Support.

101 Traffic Fatalities Statewide

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is saddened to report 11 traffic fatalities since the release of November’s preliminary year-to-date traffic fatality data on Nov. 15, 2017.

“Tragically we are now at 101 traffic fatalities statewide,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “That’s 101 mothers, fathers, sisters, or brothers that are lost to their families and friends this holiday season—and beyond. At HDOT we are prioritizing safety in every project we do and we’re asking everyone to make safety on the streets and sidewalks a priority too. Working together, we can reduce Hawaii’s annual traffic fatalities from 101, to 80 or fewer by 2018, toward the ultimate goal of zero deaths.”

All road users—motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists—can help reduce preventable deaths on Hawaii roadways by avoiding the top contributing factors in traffic fatalities. These factors are speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and distracted driving.

In 2016, 46 of 109* fatal crashes involved speeding, contributing to roughly 45 percent of the year’s 120 fatalities. Drivers in 64 of the 109 fatal crashes tested positive for alcohol and/or drugs, accounting for 73 deaths. Finally, approximately 13.7 percent of the fatalities on Hawaii’s roads in 2016 were determined to have had distracted driving as a contributing factor.

Drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists are encouraged to visit the HDOT Safe Communities page at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/safe-communites/ and the Hawaii Strategic Highway Safety Plan website at http://www.hawaiishsp.com/ to learn more about simple measures they can take to ensure their own safety and the safety of their families and friends.

 

Traffic Fatality Data from January 1, 2017 through December 11, 2017

Motor Vehicle Occupants Pedestrians Motorcycle, Moped, Scooter Operators Bicyclists ATV
Operators
TOTAL
C&C of Honolulu 19 9 7- m/c
4 – moped
1- scooter
Total – 12
3 1 44
Hawaii County 24 2 5 – m/c
1 – moped*
0 – scooter
Total – 6*
3 0 35
Maui County 10 1 4 – m/c
0 – moped
1 – scooter
Total – 4
0 0 16
Kauai County 6 0 0 – m/c
0 – moped 0 – scooter
Total – 0
0 0 6
TOTAL 59   12 23 * 6 1 101  

*indicates 1 motorized bicycle

Traffic Fatality Data from January 1, 2016 through December 11, 2016

Motor Vehicle Occupants Pedestrians Motorcycle, Moped, Scooter Operators Bicyclists ATVOperators TOTAL
C&C of Honolulu 22 20 7- m/c5 – moped

0- scooter

Total – 12

0 0 54
Hawaii County 22 5 2 – m/c1 – moped

0 – scooter

Total – 3

0 0 30
Maui County 13 5 3 – m/c0 – moped

0 – scooter

Total – 3

0 0 21
Kauai County 5 1 0 – m/c
0 – moped
1 – scooter
Total – 1
0 0 7
TOTAL 62 31 19 0 0 112

Hawaii Caregivers Now Eligible for Financial Help of $70 Per Day

Working caregivers who pay for services to support their kupuna may now be eligible for financial help of up to $70 per day to cover the cost of adult day care, chore services, home-delivered meals, homemaker services, personal care, respite, or transportation. The Hawaii Executive Office on Aging (EOA) is launching the state’s Kupuna Caregivers Program which was signed into law earlier this year by Gov. David Ige to help Hawaii’s working caregivers.

“The landmark initiative is a first step in recognizing the significant contributions and sacrifices of Hawaii’s working caregivers as they celebrate and honor their kupuna,” said Gov. David Ige. “Support for our caregivers is critically needed as Hawaii’s population is aging more rapidly than the national average and our seniors live longer than seniors in any other state.”

Under Act 102, qualified caregivers who apply for the program may receive up to $70 per day in services (subject to the availability of funds and paid directly to contracted service providers, not the caregiver). To be eligible, caregivers must be employed at least 30 hours a week by one or more employers and provide direct care to a care recipient who is a citizen of the US or a qualified alien, 60 years of age or older, and not covered by any comparable government or private home and community-based care service, except kupuna care services. The care recipient cannot reside in a long-term care facility and must have impairments of at least two activities of daily living or two instrumental activities of daily living or one activity of daily living and one instrumental activity of daily living or substantive cognitive impairment requiring substantial supervision.

“We are hopeful that this program will provide working caregivers with the opportunity to continue working and with peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are safe and are receiving services and supports that maximize their independence and quality of life,” said Terri Byers, director of the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging. “EOA is looking forward to analyzing the data we collect during this first six-month pilot period to evaluate demand for services, provider capacity, and how effective the program is in helping caregivers retain employment and ease financial burden.”

Interested caregivers should contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) as soon as possible to apply for the program. Program funding is limited to a total of $600,000 available until June 30, 2018 unless a subsequent appropriation is made by the Hawaii State Legislature. Applying for the program includes employment verification, assessment of the care recipient, and a caregiver burden assessment. For further information or to apply, call the ADRC statewide phone number (808) 643-2372, ADRC TTY line (808) 643-0899, or go to http://www.hawaiiadrc.org

Teen Mothers May Have Higher Heart Risks

Women who became first-time mothers as teens were significantly more likely than older mothers to have greater risks for heart and blood vessel disease later in life, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Catherine Pirkle, an assistant professor in the Office of Public Health Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, served as lead author.

Catherine Pirkle

“If adolescent childbirth increases the risk of cardiovascular disease risk, then our findings reinforce the need to assure that girls and adolescents have sufficient sexual education and access to contraception to avoid adolescent childbearing in the first place,” Pirkle said. “If the association is mediated by lower educational attainment, poorer health behaviors and other factors caused by young motherhood, then our findings also suggest a need to provide more support to young mothers.”

Researchers found that women reporting a first birth before the age of 20 scored significantly higher on the Framingham Risk Score, a measure commonly used to estimate the 10-year cardiovascular risk. In comparison, women whose first births occurred at older ages had lower average risk scores.

The lowest cardiovascular risk, however, was among women who had never given birth.

“Adolescent mothers may need to be more careful about lifestyle factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including maintaining a healthy body weight and sufficient physical activity,” said Pirkle. “Clinicians may need to pay more careful attention to women’s reproductive characteristics, and more intensive screening of cardiovascular-disease risk may be required of women reporting early childbirths.”

While previous studies found that women who had several pregnancies had higher cardiovascular risks, in the most recent study, the number of lifetimes births did not affect cardiovascular risk.

Pirkle notes that women who had never given birth may have miscarried or terminated pregnancies, but would have experienced dramatically lower average levels of pregnancy-related complications. Therefore, they would have no, or much shorter durations, of pregnancy-related stress on the body, which may explain the lower average risk scores in that group.

Investigators obtained information about age at first birth for 1,047 women participating in the International Mobility in Aging Study in 2012. Study participants were between the ages of 65 and 74 and were from Canada, Albania, Colombia and Brazil.

Read more at the American Heart Association story.

Hawaii Ranks 5th in Funding Programs that Prevent Kids from Smoking

Hawaii ranks 5th nationwide in funding programs that prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a report released today by leading public health organizations. Hawaii is spending $6.6 million this year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is 48.1 percent of the $13.7 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report challenges states to do more to fight tobacco use – the nation’s leading cause of preventable death – and make the next generation tobacco-free. In Hawaii, 9.7 percent of high school students smoke, and 500 kids become regular smokers each year. Tobacco use claims 1,400 Hawaii lives and costs the state $526 million in health care bills annually.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Hawaii will collect $163.9 million in revenue this year from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 4 percent of the money on tobacco prevention programs.
  • Tobacco companies spend $25.5 million each year to market their deadly and addictive products in Hawaii – almost 4 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention. Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.9 billion a year on marketing – that’s $1 million every hour.

The report – “Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later” – was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and Truth Initiative.

Hawaii has been a leader in the fight against tobacco. It has a high cigarette tax ($3.20 per pack, 5th among the states), a comprehensive smoke-free law, and in 2015 became the first state to raise the tobacco age to 21. This year Hawaii increased tobacco prevention funding by 25 percent (to $6.6 million), the first increase since 2012. However, total funding is still less than half what the CDC recommends.

Hawaii has made tremendous progress, but needs to continue and increase its investment in preventing kids from smoking and helping smokers quit,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We can win the fight against tobacco and make the next generation tobacco-free, but Hawaii must keep doing its part to help achieve these goals.”

The U.S. has reduced smoking to record lows – 15.1 percent among adults and 8 percent among high school students. But tobacco use still kills more than 480,000 Americans and costs the nation about $170 billion in health care bills each year.

Today’s report also highlights large disparities in who smokes and who suffers from tobacco-related diseases in the United States. Smoking rates are especially high in a swath of 12 states in the Midwest and South, an area called “Tobacco Nation” in a recent Truth Initiative report. Nationwide, smoking rates are highest among people who live below the poverty level and have less education, American Indians/Alaska Natives, LGBT Americans, those who are uninsured or on Medicaid, and those with mental illness. These differences are in large part due to the tobacco industry’s targeting of vulnerable populations through advertising, price discounting and other marketing strategies.

By funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the CDC’s recommended levels, states can reduce tobacco use among all Americans. But most states are falling far short:

  • The states will collect $27.5 billion this year from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend less than 3 percent of it ($721.6 million) on tobacco prevention programs.
  • The $721.6 million that the states have budgeted for tobacco prevention is a small fraction of the $3.3 billion the CDC recommends. Not a single state funds tobacco prevention programs at CDC-recommended levels, and only two states – California and Alaska – provide more than 90 percent of the recommended funding.
  • States with well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention programs have seen remarkable progress. Florida, with one of the longest-running programs, has reduced its high school smoking rate to 5.2 percent, one of the lowest rates ever reported by any state.

The report and state-specific information can be found at tfk.org/statereport.