Disconnection moratorium ends May 31
The end of the moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment – May 31– is fast approaching. Hawaiian Electric customers with a past due balance are urged to set up a payment plan that can stretch installments over many months.
While the moratorium’s end will not trigger immediate disconnections, customers who have set up payment arrangement are not subject to Hawaiian Electric’s disconnection process and late fees are waived while on a payment plan. A plan can be requested onlien at www.hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement.
Residential and smaller commercial customers behind on payments who do not make contact with Hawaiian Electric may have their balance automatically enrolled in a 12-month payment plan starting in July to avoid disconnection, the utility said. Those customers will receive a notice with their bill when the payment plan starts that explains how the arrangement works.
If a customer does not pay the amount due while on a payment plan, it may trigger collection activity and service may be disconnected.
Customers experiencing hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to seek government and nonprofit agency assistance. Resources can be found online at www.hawaiianelectric.com/COVID19.
WCA town meeting Thursday
The Waimea Community Association’s monthly Virtual Town Meeting will get underway at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The meeting will address waste issues and uniting the island’s health care providers around the COVID-19 response, primarily getting shots in arms.
The meeting will be streamed “live” on the association’s Facebook page. Community members are invited to submit questions by emailing them to WaimeaCommunity Association@gmail.com. The meeting will be saved to Facebook and YouTube for on-demand viewing thereafter.
Leading the conversation about solid waste issues will be Ramzi Mansour, Hawaii County’s new director of the Department of Environmental Management, along with his Solid Waste Deputy Division Chief Mike Kaha and North Hawaii DEM Advisory Commissioner Georjean Adams. They will speak about a wide range of initiatives being addressed by the county, ranging from a controversial decision to ban trailers at all solid waste transfer stations, to addressing recycling and reducing use of plastics, to cesspool conversion and wastewater treatment alternatives.
Joining them in this conversation will be North Hawaii County Council members Heather Kimball (District 1) and Tim Richards (District 9).
Also speaking will be Randy Kurohara with Community First, which is WCA’s spotlighted not-for-profit for May. As part of a salute to National Nurses’ Week followed by National Hospitals Week, Kurohara will brief attendees about a collaborative effort by Community First to bring together all of the island’s hospitals, community health centers and other care providers for weekly virtual meetings to improve islandwide response to the COVID pandemic.
Also on the agenda will be Hawaii Police Department Lt. Robert Pauole, who is currently serving as captain of the South Kohala district, with a public safety update.
For more information, visit www.waimeatown.org, or www.facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation, or email WCA President James Hustace at WaimeaCommunity Association@gmail.com.
Kealakehe among winners in video competition
Moanalua High and Kealakehe Intermediate schools captured the highest honors in the 18th annual ‘Olelo Youth Xchange Student Video Competition.
Moanalua High was named Expert category winner with “Lost and Found,” while Kealakehe Intermediate was named the Junior Expert with “A New Normal.”
Those top two prizes — as well as winning schools in 35 other categories — were announced in three separate virtual shows on April 28. Winners received high-definition Sony digital video cameras.
This year’s award-winners were selected from over 700 submissions from keiki in every county across the state. The submissions were created by students who attend public, charter and private schools statewide or are homeschooled.
The winning videos were selected based on subject impact and technical production. The judging panels included local news media, filmmaking professionals and, in the case of sponsored categories, subject experts.
‘Olelo Youth Xchange was launched in 2003 to give island keiki a voice to tell stories in a variety of video formats and about subjects that are meaningful to them. Since its inception, ‘Olelo Youth Xchange has awarded nearly 700 video cameras to schools throughout Hawaii.
For more information, visit www.olelo.org/YXC.
Virtual school supply drive underway
DTRIC Insurance, its employees, and agency partners are inviting the community to join its virtual school supply drive to support the Helping Hands Hawaii Ready to Learn program (RTL). DTRIC will match donations up to $10,000 during the month-long campaign, which runs through May 28.
“No child should have to go without basic school supplies, they all need the tools to do their best in the classroom,” said Michele Saito, President and CEO of DTRIC Insurance. “Supporting community organizations that provide vital social services is one of DTRIC’s core values and we’re proud to support Helping Hands Hawaii’s Ready to Learn program.”
RTL will use monetary donations to bulk-purchase supplies to prepare basic school supply kits for students of all grade levels. These kits contain some of the most common supplies found on the Department of Education’s back-to-school lists. In addition to composition books, pencils, crayons, erasers, and folder paper, hand sanitizers, face masks, USB drives, and ear buds will also be included to ensure children learn in a safe and healthy environment.
The public can donate DTRIC’s virtual RTL school supply drive online at www.helpinghandshawaii.org/dtric to make a gift. Donations to the campaign will make an even bigger impact as DTRIC pledges to match contribution – dollar for dollar – up to $10,000.
Donate by mail by sending checks, made payable to “Helping Hands Hawaii”, to Ready to Learn Program, c/o Helping Hands Hawaii, 2100 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu, HI 96819. Write “Ready to Learn” in the memo section.