Health group's funding raises concerns
HONOLULU - A group being formed to handle health care reform in Hawaii is raising concerns that its funding has come exclusively from insurers and hospitals.
The Hawaii Healthcare Project is a public-private partnership aimed at controlling rising medical costs and improving overall health.
Hawaii Medical Service Association contributed $200,000, Ohana Health provided $100,000 and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii donated $80,000. Hawaii Pacific Health and Queen's Health Systems kicked in $80,000 each.
Larry Geller, president of Kokua Council, which advocates for good government, says it's troublesome that insurers are dominating the effort.
Similar conflict-of-interest concerns were raised this year with the appointment of three health insurers to the 15-member board of Hawaii's first health insurance exchange.
WestJet to offer Alberta-Hawaii flights
HONOLULU - Canadian carrier WestJet plans to offer seasonal flights between Alberta and Hawaii.
WestJet announced Thursday that it had leased two Boeing 757-200 aircraft from Thomas Cook Airlines to offer more nonstop service between Calgary and Honolulu and Maui, and between Edmonton and Maui.
Pending regulatory approval, the flights are scheduled to begin Dec. 13 and continue through April 21.
The Honolulu flights will be twice a week. Flights between Calgary and Maui will be four times a week. Flights between Edmonton and Maui will be three times a week.
WestJet flight attendants will be on the flights, while Thomas Cook will provide the aircraft and pilots.
Visitors from Canada have been strong contributors to Hawaii's tourism economy.