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Notes on a Legislative Report with Tsuji, Nakashima and Kahele

May 22, 2012

L to R: Steve Ono, Shirley Ito, Mark Nakashima, Clift Tsuji

Legislative Report held on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at the ILWU Hall with guest speakers Senator Gilbert Kahele, Representative Mark Nakashima and Clifton Tsuji along with the Office of Aging and Disabilities Alan Parker.

Your HSTA-R President, Wayne ‘Big Dog’ Joseph took some notes on each speaker which is provided below:

Senator Kahele went first as he needed to leave early and spoke of retire related benefits that he brought to the Big Island including the funding giving to our Office of Aging.

The Senator will be at another legislative update at the Hilo High Café sometime in July.

He surprised me when he offered to give his cell phone number, 987-7958, and said that anyone of us could call him 24/7.

 Senator Gilbert Kahele

Clifton Tsuji was next and he said that he is watching out to protect our Medicare Plan B reimbursement.  He is working on establishing funds for the aging population and has already brought money in to continue Kapuna Care.  17 percent of the State’s aging budget went to the Big Island.

Money, $385,000 came for the planning and design of the new Hilo Adult Care Center.

Mark Nakashima arrived a little late due to unexpected traffic along the Hamakua Coast.  He spoke of the closing of Hospitals on Oahu as the negative, but the positive was in certifying Queens as a Bone Marrow transplant facility.  The importance of continuing a Residency Program in that it will retain doctors in the state.  John Burns school of Medicine graduated 64 and we need to find ways of keeping them in Hawaii. 

Wants to bring 8 doctors into Hilo under the residency program.

Alan Parker said that the past legislature came through for the County’s Office of Aging and Disabilities with $1.4 million and the county came in with an additional $244,000.

Talked about the Hamakua Health Center being a model for the entire nation with their long term facility and training and education.

Richard Baker and the ILWU once again played host by allowing use of their facility.  HARA provided the refreshments and our very own Steve Ono put the event together and played MC.

For questions or comments email the Big Dog at

3 Comments leave one →
  1. J.N permalink
    May 22, 2012 3:41 pm

    Thanks for all of the current updates. Wonderful to be able to have a site that gives us retirees information that pertains to our situation.
    Will you please let us know the date and time for Sen Kahele’s next meeting? Will it be open to the public?

  2. Tina permalink
    May 22, 2012 3:44 pm

    I am particularly interested in how Mr. Tsuji is watching out for our
    Medicare part B reimbursments? I know our governor is trying to take that benifit away. What can we retirees do to help protect it?

  3. Jo Ann Iwane permalink
    May 22, 2012 4:56 pm

    thanks for the update, wayne, since i’m all the way over here in KONA – just got back from my trip to spoil the LA grandbabies, too. cliff, gil, and mark are all strong HSTA/HSTA-R supporters – we need to keep them in office!

    Jo Ann Iwane

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