HONOLULU – Parents choosing to have their children vaccinated at school through the Hawaii Department of Health’s Stop Flu at School program are urged to act quickly this year. Vaccination consent forms, both online and in print, are currently available and are due back to schools on October 16. Students must have their completed and signed consent forms returned to their school by the deadline in order to receive a flu vaccination at their school’s clinic.
“Our school-based flu vaccination clinics offer a convenient option for parents of students from kindergarten through 8th grade statewide,” said Health Director Linda Rosen. “More than 72,000 students and school faculty were vaccinated last year, helping to prevent the spread of illness among classmates, families, and communities. This reduces lost school and work days, saves medical costs and ultimately saves lives.”
This year’s clinics will be held from November through December. The Department of Health is collaborating with school administrators, health care providers, pediatric associations, health insurers, and federal partners to continue this important program.
This year, Hawaii Association of Healthcare Plans (HAHP) members agreed to subsidize some of the cost for two program years. HAHP members’ contribution for the 2014-2015 school year is $815,000 of the total program cost of $1.7 million. “Our warmest mahalo to HAHP for ensuring that Hawaii’s keiki are able to be vaccinated at school,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist. “Their funding to continue this program will help limit the spread of disease among families, the elderly—the whole community.”
Through the Stop Flu at School program, more than 65,000 elementary and middle school children in more than 300 public, private and charter schools statewide are vaccinated against flu each year, contributing to Hawaii having one of the highest flu vaccination coverage rates in the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Information packets and vaccination consent forms are distributed to parents through participating schools. Parents may choose to complete the consent form online at https://vaxonlinereg.doh.hawaii.gov/VaxMe_Login_SSL.php.
For more information about Stop Flu at School, visit http://flu.hawaii.gov/SFAS.html. Parents needing assistance completing the consent forms, including those needing assistance in other languages, may call Aloha United Way’s information and referral service at 2-1-1.
Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki issued the following statement on the recent court ruling regarding the residency status of Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say to represent House District 20.
“I am extremely pleased that the courts have upheld the separation of powers between the Judiciary and the Legislature with its recent ruling that the state House has the exclusive power, as stated by our state Constitution, to determine the qualifications of its members. The separation of powers between our three branches of government is a cornerstone in our democratic process and Judge Nakasone’s ruling correctly determined that the court may not interfere or intrude on the exercise of legislative power granted by the state Constitution to the Legislature.”
A lawsuit brought by six voters in Palolo can’t challenge the residency of state Rep. Calvin Say. Circuit Court Judge Karen Nakasone ruled that the state House has the exclusive power to determine qualifications of its members. In a published report released by AP through the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, if courts interfere before the House investigates a complaint against Say or exercises its power, it “would not only be unconstitutional, but also premature, unwise and inefficacious,” Nakasone said.
WAILUKU – The state Department of Health has scheduled public informational meetings in Maui County to discuss proposed administrative rules on cesspools and wastewater systems, Council Chair Gladys Baisa announced today.
DOH will conduct an informational meeting on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Baisa said.
The proposed amendments to the Hawaii Administrative Rules would prohibit new cesspools and phase out existing ones through a mandatory upgrade to a septic system or other wastewater system upon sale of property. A document with the proposed revisions is available at mauicounty.us/cesspools.
A public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow on Oahu at 10:30 a.m., with videoconferencing to the Neighbor Islands. Maui residents can monitor the meeting at the Wailuku Health Center at 121 Mahalani St.
Baisa requested that DOH conduct a live meeting on Maui because of the rules’ potential impact here. In a press release, DOH estimated there are more than 12,000 cesspools on this island.
“I know a lot of residents, especially Upcountry, will be affected by the proposed cesspool regulations,” Baisa said. “I urge affected residents to attend the Oct. 15 meeting, as the rule change may cause a significant financial burden to homeowners.”
On Sept. 26, Baisa submitted a letter to state Health Director Linda Rosen to offer comments on the draft rule amendments. Baisa urged the department to allow homeowners at least a year to complete any mandatory conversion to a new wastewater system. The DOH has proposed a 180-day time frame. “Providing for an extended time frame to complete the required upgrades would impose less of a burden on Maui County’s homeowners and promote compliance with the rule,” Baisa said.
Baisa suggested exempting low-risk cesspools from the upgrade requirement and urged state officials to consider factors like a cesspool’s proximity to the ocean and drinking water sources, soil condition and lot size.
“I support the intent to protect the quality of Hawaii’s nearshore waters and drinking water supplies,” Baisa said. “However, there is no justification to require elimination of cesspools that present little to no risk of contaminating our water supply or the ocean.”
In her letter, Baisa noted the cesspool upgrade requirement should not apply to transfers between family members and that the state should provide funding support to homeowners when upgrades are required. The cost of each cesspool upgrade is estimated at $20,000.
“I urge the state to consider ways to mitigate financial hardship,” Baisa said. “I understand the state’s intent to upgrade our wastewater systems, but invite them to strongly take a look at the unintended impacts this would cause across the state, especially in rural districts.” An informational meeting will also be held on Molokai on Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. at the Kaunakakai Gymnasium. There are 1,400 cesspools on Molokai.
Written comments will be accepted by DOH at the informational meetings.
Baisa, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Planning Director Will Spence and Water Director Dave Taylor met with Environmental Health Administrator Gary Gill and other state health officials at the County Building last month. Baisa stressed the importance of meetings in Maui County and approved DOH’s use of the Council Chamber.
For more information on the meetings, contact DOH’s Wastewater Branch in Honolulu at (808) 586-4294.
By Sgt. Nick Krau, MPD DUI Task Force
The Maui Police Department’s Traffic Division would like to advise our community of an upcoming traffic enforcement campaign and ask for their voluntary compliance in regards to all traffic laws. The campaign is titled, “Stop Or Get Stopped.”
Members of the Maui Police Department Traffic Section will be conducting an enforcement campaign focused on motorists who disregard stop signs and red traffic signal lights. Officers will also focus on motorists who block intersections or are caught stopped in the intersection after the traffic signal light turns red. The “Stop or Get Stopped” enforcement campaign will run from October 6th through October 19th, 2014.
Studies report the reduction of traffic law violations and motor vehicle crashes when enforcement action is used. The Maui Police Department’s Traffic Section will be selecting locations for targeted enforcement based on data gathered from crashes, citations, as well as numerous citizens’ concerns regarding these particular violations.
Here are some guidelines for all motorists regarding traffic signals: What should you do if the traffic signal is totally dark? The intersection automatically becomes a 4-way stop. All drivers are required to stop at the intersection, then proceed as if the intersection had stop signs controlling all approaches unless law enforcement or other authorized persons are directing traffic. If the signal is in flashing mode, drivers having a flashing red light are to stop and yield to other drivers before proceeding through the intersection. Drivers having a flashing yellow light are to proceed with caution.
An illuminated yellow traffic signal light means vehicular traffic facing the steady yellow signal is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection.
As always we would like to ask the community to please assist us with our efforts by obeying all traffic laws.
HONOLULU – The Maui Fair, the largest and longest running annual fair for 92 years, is bringing energy efficiency to the center stage by replacing old incandescent lighting with all-new compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Maui, Hawaii and Honolulu counties, has supported the Maui Fair and operated an educational booth the past three years in an effort to help fair goers save energy. This year, the program has taken a step forward by providing 702 energy-efficient CFLs installed at high-traffic areas throughout the fair grounds including the food and concessions area, entertainment tent and the “Maui Fair Products & Services” tent.
“We’re honored to support this timeless community tradition again and proud to help the fair reduce its energy consumption,” said Walter Enomoto, Hawaii Energy Program Specialist for Maui County. “We look forward to working together in the future to find even more ways to conserve and maximize the fair’s efficient use of energy.”
ENERGY STAR® certified CFLs use 75 percent less energy, produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs and last nearly 10 times longer. Switching to CFLs can save about $12 to $19 per lamp on your electric bill annually. To see how much energy can be saved by switching from incandescent lamps to CFLs, visit www.hawaiienergy.com/savings-calculator.
Hawaii Energy offers instant rebates for CFLs at the following participating Maui retailers: Ace Hardware, Costco, Foodland, Home Depot, Longs Drugs/CVS, Safeway and Walmart.
“We’d like to give a big mahalo to Hawaii Energy and all of our sponsors for donating their time, resources and expertise to make the Maui Fair a memorable event,” said Sherri Grimes, Maui Fair Managing Director. “This year is truly special because we’re making strides to create a cleaner, greener fair than ever before.”
The 92nd Maui Fair will be held at the War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku from Thursday, October 2 to Sunday, October 5, 2014.
To learn more about Hawaii Energy and how to save energy and money on your electric bill, visit www.HawaiiEnergy.com or call toll-free at (877) 231-8222.
The National Weather Service has extended the HIGH SURF ADVISORY for SOUTH FACING SHORES of MAUI COUNTY, now in effect until 6:00 p.m. Thursday.
EFFECTS: A large storm southeast of New Zealand last week sent a south-southwest swell toward Hawaii. This swell will continue to build today producing high surf across south facing shores of the islands.
Surf heights of 7 to 10 feet are expected along south facing shores today, subsiding to 6 to 8 feet Thursday.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: EXPECT STRONG BREAKING WAVES, SHORE BREAK, AND STRONG LONGSHORE AND RIP CURRENTS, MAKING SWIMMING DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS. BEACHGOERS, SWIMMERS, AND SURFERS SHOULD HEED ALL ADVICE GIVEN BY OCEAN SAFETY OFFICIALS AND EXERCISE CAUTION.
INFORMATION: Maui Civil Defense Agency will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.
NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
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