to the Editor

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Thursday, March 6, 2003

Fluoride would force some to stay at home

Nothing underhanded was done to introduce this and other bills to protect our water supply ("Fast-track fluoridation ban nearing Lingle's desk," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 27). Perhaps if the pro-fluoride people were among the many people with impaired immune systems who could become dreadfully ill if fluoride or any chemical were added to the water, then they would understand. Some of these chemicals cannot be filtered, but even if they could it would condemn us to staying at home like prisoners.

Fluoride has been put in New York City and Boston water systems for years, and their cavity rates are as bad as ours. I grew up in a community that valued pure water, and nothing was ever added. I have never had any dental problems. It is dental hygiene that prevents cavities, not fluoride.

Our senators and representatives are aware that there are many citizens who would become ill if chemicals are added to the water. Why would anyone prevent us from living normal, healthy lives? I cannot believe anyone would be so callous as to do this to us.

Bobby McClintock

Sunken Argentine ship survived Pearl Harbor

Thank you for the article in your March 1 edition on the National Geographic Society's maritime expedition to search for the remains of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano that was torpedoed and sunk by the British submarine Conqueror during the 1982 war in the Falkland Islands.

Your readers may be interested to know that the General Belgrano was commissioned in 1938 as the U.S. Navy's cruiser Phoenix. The USS Phoenix was a light cruiser of the Brooklyn class and a sister ship of the USS Honolulu.

The Phoenix had 15 six-inch guns. She and her sister, the USS St. Louis, were the only major warships to actually get under way and depart Pearl Harbor undamaged on Dec. 7, 1941.

Alan S. Lloyd
Naval historian

Governor should represent all citizens

It is only fitting that the governor's office funding be cut in half, especially since the governor only represents slightly more than half of the Hawaii voters. Governor Lingle set the stage for this by not paying the dues to the governors' association; her reason was that the association did not represent her Republican values.

She should realize that she is the governor of all of the citizens of Hawaii, not just the governor of 50.4 of the voters. If all of the governors took this action there would be no organization to speak for the states on national issues.

Thomas Passmore

Slashing Lingle's funds shows bad form

Congratulations to Star-Bulletin cartoonist Corky. He scored another direct hit with his March 2 cartoon. The Democratic donkeys again have displayed their arrogance and complete lack of tact and class by cutting funds to the governor's office. Are they so scared of what the governor's office might do in revealing the dark and dirty side of their politics that they are going to cut off funds to limit the governor's ability to function? They should be ashamed of themselves.

It is one thing to say "politics as usual," but in Hawaii it is "dirty politics as usual."

Jim White
Keaau, Hawaii

Malpractice insurance is too expensive

I believe that the rising cost of the medical malpractice insurance premium is caused by the increasing number of lawsuits against doctors and the multimillion-dollar awards to the plaintiffs. Doctors who make less than $200,000 a year are being crushed by the heavy burden of having to pay $50,000 or more annually for malpractice insurance premiums.

I hope that the following suggestions inspire these doctors to find a workable solution to this pressing problem.

>> There should be a law to limit the punitive award at a maximum of $1 million. When the doctors are found to be guilty of malpractice by the jury, they immediately will lose their medical licenses. However, they may be allowed to work as physician's assistants under the supervision of other experienced doctors.

>> Instead of charging a standard $50,000 premium, the insurance company should consider charging the doctors 10 percent of their annual income as the starting rate. The rate goes up to 15 percent as the number of lawsuits against that particular doctor increases.

Cecilia Graybeal

Let's be honest -- it is about Iraq's oil

First the American people are told we must invade Iraq because it is in violation of U.N. resolutions concerning weapons of mass destruction. Then we are told me must invade because Iraq needs a regime change. Later we are told that we must invade because Saddam Hussein is in league with al-Qaida and Iraq is the leader of a worldwide terrorist web.

Now President Bush has again changed his tune to say the reason we have to invade Iraq is to bring democracy to the Middle East and an end to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Why doesn't he just tell the truth: that American oil interests covet the oil that lies beneath Iraq's soil and that controlling this resource will consolidate America's lone superpower status.

Raymond Catania
Lihue, Kauai

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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