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Sunday, December 29, 2002



Nurses' strike views


Annual competition inspires young artists

Thanks to the estate of James Campbell, 49 young Leeward Oahu artists were recognized on Oct. 24 for their talent and creativity. The estate, in cooperation with the Department of Education, has hosted the annual Leeward Young Artist Award competition since 1994, giving our youth the opportunity to share their artistic talents with the community.

This year, students in the Leeward school district submitted nearly 300 entries. From the 49 finalists, 10 were selected to receive the Leeward Young Artist Award. Three students received scholarships from the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

I continue to be impressed with the growth each year in depth and complexity of the students' artwork. For many, this competition is the first public display of their work. To have their families and peers celebrate their accomplishments adds to the warmth, joy and satisfaction of the evening.

James Campbell High School appreciates the recognition of our young artists throughout the Leeward District. The estate's encouragement, enthusiasm and support of the program promote self-confidence and inspiration toward a career in art.

Special thanks to the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts and the City and County of Honolulu for making it possible to exhibit the Leeward Young Artist Award finalists at Kapolei Hale.

G. Awakuni

Kaloi stands for life, traditional marriage

Few of the 44 candidates for the 2nd congressional district special election next Saturday have taken a firm position in favor of the right to life or in defense of traditional marriage. One candidate, Republican Kimo Kaloi, favors both.

Of the rest of the candidates, some appear to be in direct opposition to both the right to life and traditional marriage. Most, however, have either been silent or dodged the issue. A candidate's positions on abortion and same-sex marriage give us insight to his or her personal moral foundation, which will determine a person's actions on all other issues.

Too bad that most of the candidates don't have the moral courage to state plainly where they stand on these issues.

With Kaloi's experience in Congress, his background in law, his moral stand for life and traditional marriage and his knowledge of Hawaiian affairs, he is clearly the most qualified candidate to represent Hawaii.

Laura Adolpho
Hauula

Case should be wary of Bush's promises

I am glad that Ed Case clarified his position on Iraq (Letters, Dec. 27). I have major concerns about his stand. Case says that if we have solid evidence of a clear and present danger to U.S. citizens, and we fail to get U.N. support, then Case would view us as having little choice but to support our president in an unilateral attack. Is that correct, Mr. Case?

Are we to trust statements from a president who provides no proof? The public is too stupid to be told the truth? Has this president ever given full disclosure?

Perhaps we should be asking why the world would not support us. That is what I want my congressman to ask. Patsy Mink would have asked; she always wanted the truth.

Prior to the first Gulf War Papa Bush claimed to have pictures showing beyond a doubt that Iraq was building up troops along the border with Saudi Arabia. He couldn't release them due to "national security," so we never saw them.

The Russians have released pictures from their side taken at the same time, and guess what? No build up.

So Congressman Case, please get the U.S. pictures released. If they don't exist or show no build up, then just say no to Baby Bush and charge the old man for treason and stop his retirement benefits.

Erick Ehrhorn
Kailua

McDermott will bring back values to politics

Bob McDermott is the most qualified candidate for Congress in the 2nd District. He endorses pro-life, which I strongly support. Every life counts. He also supports a strong military for our safety. He is an excellent politician, and I believe that he will bring back moral values to our state.

For many decades, a Democrat has held this seat. I think that it's time for a change. Vote Republican, so that everyone will benefit, not just a few.

Becky Fischer
Ewa Beach

Democrat's concern for business is too late

I find it humorous that in your Dec. 27 editorial about a recently approved Hawaii prescription drug law ("Court ruling forces review of Hawaii's prescription drug law") that Rep. Roy Takumi contends that an alternate plan from Governor Lingle "would violate federal law."

It didn't seem to bother Takumi that the very bills approved by the Legislature, which he sponsored, have actually been proven by the courts as violating federal law.

He obviously is far from an expert on the subject. He also states that relying on discount outlets to provide lower-priced drugs would "put Longs Drugs and the mom-and-pop drugstores out of business." This coming from a veteran legislator who has been directly involved with government strangulation of small business as evidenced in numerous national rankings showing Hawaii as one of the worst places for small business.

Mark Nakamura
Pearl City

So far, Lingle's record is lacking

Governor Lingle has been in office less than a month. Let's look at the record.

She sent her chief minion to the Honolulu City Council to read her letter opposing the right of thousands of condo owners, including many who voted for her, to purchase the land beneath their apartments using a law that has existed for more than 10 years and is based on another law pertaining to single-family residences that has existed for 35 years.

Lingle also has reneged on the promise that she made to release $10.3 million owed to Hawaiians within 30 days of her inauguration. She doesn't have the authority to release the money, but some people will say anything to get elected.

Finally, Lingle has informed Hawaii's nurses that she is maintaining a hands-off approach to collective bargaining in the private sector while hundreds of mainland nurses are being brought to Hawaii to take the jobs of our local nurses. Thank you, governor, for demonstrating so much understanding and aloha for our local people and our local values.

If Lingle can accomplish this much in less than a month, imagine how much she can accomplish in 48 months.

Richard Port
Former chairman
Democratic Party of Hawaii

Republicans should consider public service

Why is it that Republicans feel the need to profit so much when serving the public?

President Bush secretly repealed a Clinton policy in order to provide bonuses to political appointees. When Lt. Governor Duke Aiona quit his job as a judge, he complained that his nearly $100,000 yearly salary was too low. Randy Roth got a special deal so that he could keep his $100,000-plus salary while working in Governor Lingle's office -- a salary that is partly subsidized by students at the University of Hawaii.

Now Lingle wants to dramatically increase the pay of her cabinet appointees. She has explained that is it difficult to recruit Republican appointees because the nearly $100,000 salaries are too low.

Do Republicans understand the concept of public service?

David Kimo Frankel
Volcano, Hawaii

Please stop lecturing on evils of meat

This letter is in response to a Dec. 22 letter advocating a vegetarian Christmas.

I wonder why there is no protest of the slaughter of "innocent" Christmas trees cut off above the roots. These trees are murdered and then shipped to Hawaii for a few distributors who reap immense profit at the cost of the life of a tree.

Seriously, I am a carnivore. I like the taste of meat. I am getting tired of the vegetarian community telling me what to eat. It's my choice. If it tastes good, I enjoy it, relish it, case closed.

I bet the author of the vegetarian letter had a murdered Christmas tree in her midst.

Steven Jon Lipski
Wahiawa

Gay advocates keep attacking Gabbards

Once again, we see the animosity that gay activists feel for Mike and Carol Gabbard and the people of Hawaii represented in a Christmas Day letter to the editor.

Since they lost the campaign for same-sex marriage, they have been writing hate-filled letters to the editor and engaging in other activities aimed at damaging the reputations of the Gabbards. I, for one, am happy that both Mike and Carol, as well as their daughter, hold public office and feel confident that they will always make decisions that are in the best interest of our community.

Vanessa Birang


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More perspectives
on nurses' strike

Touched by angels at Kaiser hospital

Last week for four days I experienced a little piece of heaven in a wonderful institution called the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Moanalua. In this quiet spot full of rainbows, I discovered a place filled with angels from the bottom to the tip-top floor. Every beautiful hallway was filled with smiling faces, kind words of encouragement and happy, knowledgeable individuals who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that I was cared for physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

These angels, disguised as nurses, doctors, orderlies, security personnel, clerks, lab specialists, anesthesiologists, housekeeping staff, gourmet chefs and pharmacists, made my stay enjoyable and helped to quicken my healing. Thank you for Christ-like efforts in helping me through a difficult time. I can honestly say that I have been touched by angels. Merry Christmas to you all.

Laurie Waite Flores
Kaneohe

Nurses' aides deserve more appreciation

I think the striking nurses are being too greedy. They claim they're overworked and underpaid, but fail to mention that many nurses have second jobs at other hospitals or care homes. They reject the idea of mandatory overtime, but it seems most overtime is eagerly volunteered for (at 1.5 times their normal outrageous rates). How often is mandatory overtime imposed, I wonder?

Nurses may claim they work hard, but in reality it's the nurses' aides who are elbow-deep in feces and other disgusting bodily wastes. Nurses advocate patient care, but grow increasingly frustrated when they must make repeated trips to a patient's room. Is there some sort of quota for patient contact?

The next time you're a patient in a hospital, press your call button and see who responds to your needs, your nurse or your nurse's aide. While many overpaid nurses continue to hold out for more of this and less of that, give kudos to Hawaii's nursing aides. They're the ones who continue to provide patient care during this exercise in greed.

M. Dureaux

Patients need nurses to come back to work

Although I have been a supporter of unions in their efforts to ensure adequate wages, health protection and job security for workers, I find the nurses' strike at St. Francis Medical Center puzzling.

SFMC is a nonprofit institution that provides so much to our community. During the past few years, the hospital has suffered substantial financial losses due to lower Medicare reimbursements and the poor economy in Hawaii. Physicians have been asked to help in numerous ways, such as making donations and decreasing lengths of stay when appropriate. The strike is detrimental to the economic condition of the hospital.

I do not have enough knowledge to offer a solution to the disagreement between SFMC and its nurses, but I believe the people of Hawaii will be greatly harmed if SFMC is forced to continue to limit its services. Patients needing acute care are feeling the tension resulting from the shortage of available hospital beds in Honolulu. In addition, many people who were working in SFMC's ancillary services, such as billing and medical records, have been laid off and left scrambling for jobs during the holiday season.

I am very concerned about the limited health-care facility SFMC has become since the strike began. As a health-care provider, I am making a plea to the nurses who are walking the picket line: Please come back to work. You are sorely needed.

James Lumeng, M.D.

Nurses shouldn't block hospital entrance

I recently drove my husband to Queen's hospital for surgery. We were met by nurses picketing the entrance of the hospital. They moved very slowly to clear the entrance. My husband's surgery date was delayed because of their strike. He waited patiently because both he and I support the nurses' fight for better working conditions for them and safety conditions for patients.

Nurses walking with their strike posters near the entrance of the hospital is enough to make the public aware of their problems with their employer and gain public support. It isn't necessary for them to block and delay cars entering the hospital. Deliberate delay causes the patients and family members unnecessary anxiety and concern.

Please let us enter the hospital without delay.

Que Oshiba






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