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LETTERS for October 19 issue

By Staff | Oct 19, 2017

Mahalo to the Keahi Ohana

Na Kupuna O Maui is proud of Na Makua. They have picked up the torch of responsibility and are cultural role models, working to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian values learned from their ancestors. Mahalo Ke Akua.

Na Kupuna O Maui recognizes Kekai and Kapali Keahi, leaders of the Keahi Ohana of Mala. Na Keahi are the cultural practitioners – with generations of Hawaiian fishermen in their line.

About eight years ago, through their steadfast efforts, Kahoma Stream has been restored from the mountain to the ocean, recharging life back to the West Side fishing grounds.

About eight years ago, they lobbied Kamehameha Schools to open the water gate that diverted the stream to the sugar cane fields for 100-plus years. Then it took over five years of monitoring the situation to fully saturate the streambed before it reached the near-shore fishing grounds.

At the same time, the Ohana opened the kalo patch. The cousins Keahi are devoted to their Hawaiian heritage, its rich history, language and music.

Kekai is a Hawaiian Language Immersion Program Teacher at Lahaina Intermediate School. His students benefit from his extensive knowledge of his deep roots.

Kapali, a graduate of the University of Hawaii Hawaiian Language program, shares his message through music.

Mahalo to Kekai and Kapali Keahi for your efforts to keep our Hawaiian culture alive.



Practice God’s pono policy

Aloha means to receive the breath of God. “But you have not honored the God who gives you breath. So God sent this hand to write this message. ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin.’ This is what these words mean.”

“Mene means ‘numbered’ – God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end.”

“Tekel means ‘weighed’ – you have been weighed on the scales and have not measured up.”

“Parsin means ‘divided’ – your nation has been divided and given to…” (Daniel 5).

Prophecy is relevant in current affairs. Reliable biblical predictions have already been realized, and others are underway. Reinstated Israel, technology and globalism are preparation for Jesus’ return with military, economic and political ramifications.

Before Satan is permanently deposed, Jesus will return and reign. Regardless if it’s tomorrow or far into the future, preparedness is in everyone’s best interest.

Hate crimes, debt, unstable economies, political conflicts, racism, sexual immorality, human trafficking, substance abuse, pollution, nuclear threats and other evils can be counteracted.

Tipping the scales is within our purview. A good measure of repentance, forgiveness and loving kindness offsets the imbalance. Our actions impact the present and future!

We could be the generation that establishes precedents; to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” Jesus said.

Hawaii’s motto, first spoken by Queen Keopuolani as “Ua Mau ke o ka Aina i ka Pono o Iesu Kristo,” is the hope of nations!

Pono means righteousness – do what is right. Turn to God! Practice His pono policy.



Marine animals deserve compassion and respect

An environmental group recently filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, arguing that the agency has violated the Endangered Species Act by allowing whales to become entangled in crab fishing gear. More than 20 whales protected by the act were found entangled in crab fishing gear off the California Coast in 2016 alone. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, video has emerged showing a Coast Guard crew rescuing a sea turtle from a lobster pot in Massachusetts.

Such incidents are all too common.

According to a 2014 report by Oceana, the “accidental” casualties of the commercial fishing industry – sea turtles, sharks, whales and other marine animals – constitutes “one of the most significant threats to maintaining healthy marine ecosystems.”

Of course, whales and sea turtles are not the only victims of the fishing industry. Despite the evidence that fish are smart, sentient animals with a capacity for suffering, we kill them by the billions every year for our plates. When fish are dragged out of their ocean homes in huge nets, their gills often collapse, their eyes bulge out of their heads and their swim bladders burst because of the sudden pressure change. Farmed fish are crammed into tiny enclosures, constantly rubbing up against one another (and rubbing off their protective coating) because of the lack of space, and suffer from diseases and damaged fins.

It’s time for a sea change. All animals deserve compassion and respect, regardless of whether they have fur or fins or whether they are cats or catfish. To find out more, visit www.PETA.org.

PAULA MOORE, The PETA Foundation


Medicare open enrollment season is here

When you shop for a new car, you don’t just buy the first one you see, do you?

Probably not. You usually shop around, looking for the best deal you can get on a vehicle that fits your driving needs as well as your pocketbook.

Well, it’s the time of year when you should think about shopping around for a Medicare health or drug plan.

Medicare’s open enrollment period began Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, 2017.

If you have Original Medicare, meaning that you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare, you don’t need to think about open enrollment.

But if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) health plan, or a Medicare (Part D) prescription drug plan, you may want to see whether there’s another plan on the market that would be a better match for you – at a lower price.

If you’re enrolled in a plan and you’re happy with it, you don’t need to do anything.

But Medicare health and drug plans – run by private insurers approved by Medicare – can change from year to year. A plan can raise its monthly premium or drop a medicine that you need.

So it makes good sense to review your coverage each year. Make sure your plan still is a good fit for you in terms of cost, coverage, and quality. If it isn’t, look for another plan.

During open enrollment, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage health plan or Part D prescription drug plan, or switch from one plan to another. Your new coverage will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

How do you shop for a new plan?

One way is the “Medicare & You” handbook, mailed each fall to every Medicare household in the country. This booklet lists all the Medicare health and drug plans available where you live, along with basic information such as premiums, deductibles, and contacts.

There’s also the Medicare Plan Finder at www.Medicare.gov. Look for a green button that says: “Find health & drug plans.” Click on that, plug in your zip code and you’ll see all of the Medicare Advantage and Part D plans available in your area. You can compare them based on benefits, premiums, co-pays, and estimated out-of-pocket costs. Contact information for the plans is listed.

If you don’t have access to a computer, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Our customer service representatives can help you with questions about Medicare health and drug plans. The call is free.

Another terrific resource is the State Health Insurance and Counseling Program. To contact your local SHIP office, go to www.shiptacenter.org.

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan as of Jan. 1, 2018 but you’re not satisfied with it, you have a 45-day window to dis-enroll. Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14, 2018, you can drop your plan and return to Original Medicare. You can also sign up for a Part D drug plan during that time.

Having trouble paying for your Part D plan? You may be eligible for the Extra Help program, which helps cover your premiums, deductibles and co-pays. Medicare beneficiaries typically save about $4,000 annually with Extra Help. For more information on Extra Help, go to www.SSA.gov/prescriptionhelp.

GREG DILL, Medicare’s Regional Administrator for Hawaii