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Newsletter – For Dec/Jan

President’s Message

We survived Open Enrollment for our Health Plans in November! I received and answered many inquiries from members (and non-members) as best as I could.

Basically, for retirees, there wereminimal changes in the plans anddid not require any action on ourpart.

For our members in VEBA, ourcurrent plan covers until June 30,2010. We are looking forward tothe State Auditor’s report on VEBAand EUTF plans which is expectedto be ready for legislators beforethe next session. Early indicationsare favorable for VEBA. Yourleadership is working on compiling”talking points” that can be usedwhen speaking to legislators in ourefforts to have VEBA continue.

Start now. Let your local legislatorsknow what you like about theVEBA plan and how it hasbenefited you.

For our members in EUTF,although there were no changes inyour health plan this time, EUTF isalso anticipating the results of theState Audit. Because of the dismalforecast of our State’s revenue, ourlegislators will be looking atvarious ways to increase therevenue for the State. The State’scontribution to medical plans forretirees may be at risk. Stay alert.

A reminder again – please notifyme by phone or email wheneveryour mailing address, phonenumber or email address ischanged. In our last Phone Treeattempt to reach members, severalphone numbers and emailaddresses were “no longer inservice”. Even two of the mailednewsletters were returned as”undeliverable”.

Those of you who receive thenewsletter by email – please be sureto empty (delete) the In Box andTrash Box on a regular basis. Ifyour box capacity is FULL, youwill not be able to receive or openthe newsletter attachment.

Thank you and have a wonderfulholiday season.


or call

Your COLA #29

Greetings. Did midlines expand over Thanksgiving? We hope not too much. “Good

Tidings” to all for a merry holiday season.

Recognizing the impact of the “Great Recession,” upon ERS finances, CFC recently sent a proposal affecting new hires only to your BOD for approval. It was subsequently approved to be among the priorities for the 2010 legislative session. Previous options for improving your PRA with additional new monies are being held in abeyance pending better economic times.

Albeit honorable, this was a tough call for CFC to make. Essentially the new proposal combines savings andcompounding by providing less PRA dollars during one’s early years in retirement and offering higher dollar amounts the longer one remains in retirement. Very important, it does connect PRA closer to inflation, but unfortunately keepsthe egregious, percent-of-pension formula as the base for all PRA. Hence, it’s still a beginning; but rest assured work will continue on best ways to get a foot in the door toward an improved, fairer PRA for all retirees. Mahalo.

Joe Tanaka, Chair


“Boys & Girls Club requesting retired volunteers to assist K-8 students with assignments during

Furlough Friday programs. Call Rae @ 935-9301 or email”

December 2009/January 2010

Hawaii District HSTA-R


VEBA survey of retiree leadership showed a desire to keep benefit

levels the same, but keeping the 90/10 ratio made retiree benefits

better than for actives. To even it out, VEBA raised the co-pay for

hospital and surgical services. The State’s contribution does not

include funds for chiropractic services, however, the VEBA

Trustees voted to fund the Chiro Plan for its members. Members

are entitled to 20 visits per year to a Chiro Plan participant. Doctors

must file claims with Chiro Plan – NOT Medicare or HMSA.

Kaiser, HDS, Vision and Prescription Drug plans had no changes.

EUTF members do NOT have chiropractic coverage. Retirees were

not affected by any changes in their health plan for the coming


2009 NEA Pension Benefit Forum

On November 12, 13, I was one of the Hawaii delegation to this

conference in Washington, D.C. We listened to a lot of

presentations, some of which were results of research and rather

technical in nature.

We are fortunate that Hawaii’s teachers, active and retired, are

members of a Defined Benefits (DB) pension plan. This is the

one Constitutional guaranteed benefit that we have. DB is tied to

cost effective ways to deal with declining global finances. DB

plans earn higher investment returns because they follow

diversified and long term investments. DB pension plans are

more important now than ever before because they weather

financial storms better. DB is a fiscally responsible way to reward service and allow workers to retire with

dignity and the respect they deserve.

Fewer employers in the private sector are offering pension plans. Between 1985 and 2008, there was anincrease in Defined Contribution (DC) plans. 401 K is the dominant DC plan today, but only 36% ofworkers participate. DC plans have “leakage” – workers cash out when they change jobs, withdraw fundsdue to hardships and default on loans.Other presentations covered the current hurdles the Health Care bill faces in the US Senate and factorsaffecting our Social Security Program in the future. At times it felt like “information overload”, but I didlearn a lot. Lorraine Hora

Community Service

On December 2, 2009, the following members volunteered their time at the

HOSPICE Light Up A Life campaign at Prince Kuhio Plaza. Our thanks to Bettye

Wakabayashi, Betty Ann Yoshimura, Roy and Laverne Daimaru, Lois and Jerri

Shimizu, Carole Tsutsumi, Corliss Yamaki, and Helen and Joe Tanaka. Julia and

Eugene Tao served as alternates.

Our next community service is for the Blood Bank of Hawaii on Monday, March 22,


HSTA-R will be hosting the refreshment table for blood donors from 8:00 am to 5:00

pm. We are asking members for donations of food items, cartons of juice, paper goods and

volunteer time of 2 hour shifts. Please contact Betty Ann Yoshimura @ 959-5106 if you can participate.

“LIVE WIRE” 12/09

By: Arleen Yoshimura

Here are some hints to help get you through this holiday season.

Keep food, especially snacks out of sight & out of reach

Buy & eat healthier foods…don’t shop when you’re hungry

Check labels & avoid foods w/ too much calories, fat, etc.

Substitute healthier ingredients in your cooking

Eat something light & healthy before going to a party

Take a healthy dish if it’s potluck or water/diet drinks if BYOD

Stay away from the food table to help resist temptation

Downsize…smaller plate, cup, utensils, even portions

Avoid loose clothes to help curb overeating

Keep track of what you eat to help control the amount & variety to

help you maintain a balanced diet

Exercise…after a festive meal, walking is great !!!

Celebrate, but remember…moderation is the key. Eat & drink wisely for

a Healthier You. Here’s wishing You a Most Joyous Holiday Season with Family &

Friends and a New Year filled with Good Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness.

August 22 at KTA, HSTA

Hilo and HSTA-R

participated in the Big Island

Labor Alliance annual Food


October 16 at Hilo High

School, Arleen Yoshimura

and Caroline Mizuno

presented a Pre-Retirement

Planning Workshop on

Teacher Institute Day.

September 21 at the Aging and

Disability Resource Center,

HOSPICE of Hilo presented a

workshop on Advanced Health Care


Hawaii District Council



Lorraine Hora

Vice President

Wayne Joseph


Joyce Hirata


Myrna Watanabe

Members At-Larg

Y.Joe Tanaka (2)

Stephen Ono (2)

Bettye Wakabayashi (2)

Arleen Yoshimura (2)

Betty Ann Yoshimura (1)

Lois Shimizu (1)

Muriel Nishimoto (1)

Sharon Yanazaki (1)


Welcome New



Completed Projects

Evelyn Jittu

Sharon Quinn

Merle Tanemoto

Lois Wakida

3 Comments leave one →
  1. lorraine permalink
    December 28, 2009 4:41 pm

    In your article on Mayor Kenoi, it is “George” Yoshida who will do the filming, not “Harry” Yoshida – please correct.
    Newsletter reprinted in strange format. Can it be ‘fixed” for next issue?

    • December 28, 2009 6:10 pm

      Harry Yoshida and George Yoshida are both good friends of mine and I must of been experiencing a “senior moments.”

      As for the newsletter, I need to receive it in a different format to make it look nice – Instead of sending it to me in the newsletter format I need it in a Word Document format.

  2. RAJ permalink
    February 5, 2010 5:19 pm

    How wonderful to have all this information at our fingertips! What a great web site!
    Thank you for all your hard work and effort!

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